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I N 1879 


1875 TO 1881 





Ex-Sergeant Company "A," Frontier Battalion 

Von Boeckmann-Jones Co., Publishers 
Austin, Texas 


Copyright 1921 


James B. Gillett 



To write a true and complete history of the Texas 
Rangers as a state organization would require much 
time and an able historian. I am not a historian 
and could not undertake such an exhaustive treatise, 
which would fill several volumes the size of this, 
and it is only at the earnest solicitation of my chil- 
dren, frontier friends, and old comrades that I have 
undertaken to write a short history of the rangers 
during the years I served with them. This little 
volume, then, has only the modest aim of pictur- 
ing the life of the Texas Rangers during the years 
1875-1881. I cannot, at this late date, recount in 
detail all the scouts that were made while I was in 
the service. I have, therefore, confined myself 
principally to the description of those in which I 
was a participant. Naturally, I remember those 
the best. 

It has been said that truth never makes very in- 
teresting reading. Of the accuracy of this dictum 
I leave my readers to judge, for I have told my 
story just as I remember it, to the very best of my 
ability and without any effort to embroider it with 
imagination. If I can interest any of my old ranger 
comrades or even just one little boy that loves to 


read about a real frontier, I will feel amply repaid 
for all the time, trouble and expense expended in 
presenting this work. 

I wish sincerely to thank Miss Mary Baylor for 
placing at my disposal all the books and papers of 
her distinguished father, Captain G. W. Baylor. 
And I would be an ingrate, indeed, did I fail here 
to record my obligation to my wife without whose 
inspiration and sympathetic encouragement this 
book had never been written. 

That I might show the training of the typical 
Texas Ranger, I have ventured to include a short 
biography of my own life up to the time I became 
a ranger, June 1, 1875. 



Chapter Page 

I. The Making of a Ranger 11 

II. The Texas Rangers 29 

III. I Join the Rangers 41 

IV. My First Brush With the Indians ... 55 
V. The Mason County War 72 

VI. Major Jones and His Escort 81 

VII. The Horrell-Higgins Feud 103 

VIII. Service With Reynolds, the Intrepid . . 118 

IX. Sam Bass and His Train Robber Gang. . 155 

X. A Winter of Quiet and a Transfer. . . . 183 

XL The Salt Lake War and a Long Trek 192 

XII. Our First Fight With Apaches 212 

XIII. Scouting in Mexico 225 

XIV. Treacherous Braves, a Faithful Dog, 

and a Murder 237 

XV. Victorio Becomes a Good Indian 251 

XVI. Some Undesirable Recruits 264 

XVII. Last Fight Between Rangers and 

Apaches 278 

XVIII. An International Episode 293 

XIX. Last Scoutings 309 

XX. Fruits of Ranger Service 322 


Facing Page 

Sergeant J. B. Gillett Frontispiece 

General Jno. B. Jones 29 

Captain D. W. Roberts 41 

Captain Neal Cold well 102 

Lieutenant N. 0. Reynolds 118 

Captain Geo. W. Baylor 192 

Dallas Stoudenmire 322 

James B. Gillett 332 


Please do not write in this 

book or turn down ths tmo:es 




The greatest shaping force in human life is hered- 
ity, and from my father I inherited my love of the 
open frontier and its life of danger and excitement. 
This inheritance was further strengthened by en- 
vironment and training, and finally led me to em- 
brace the life of the Texas Ranger. My father, 
James S. Gillett, was himself a frontiersman, though 
born in the quieter, more settled east. At a very 
early age his parents emigrated from his birthplace 
in Kentucky and moved to Missouri. Here, after 
a short time, they died and the young orphan lived 
with a brother-in-law. When still quite a youth 
my father, with three other adventurous Mis- 
sourians, set out on an expedition to Santa Fe, 
New Mexico. While passing through Indian Ter- 
ritory, now the State of Oklahoma, the little party 
was captured by the Osage Indians. Fortunately 
for the youngsters, their captors did them no harm, 
but turned them loose after two weeks' imprison- 
ment in the redskin camp. 



Despite this first setback my father persevered 
and reached Santa Fe. Here he lived several years 
and mastered the Spanish language. Not long 
afterward the emigrating fever again caught him 
up and he journeyed to Van Buren, Arkansas. 
While living there he studied law and was admitted 
to the bar. Shortly thereafter he removed to Paris, 
Texas, from which he was elected to the Texas 
Legislature as representative for Lamar and ad- 
joining counties. 

When Texas entered the Union and brought on 
the Mexican War with the United States, my father 
enlisted in 1846 and rose to the rank of major. In 
1854 he was Adjutant-General of Texas. Between 
1859 and 1860, during the governorship of Sam 
Houston, my father was quartermaster of a bat- 
talion of rangers, thus making it natural that I 
should also feel drawn toward this famous organi- 

At the beginning of the Civil War my father was 
beyond military age, — he was born in 1810 — but as 
the South became hard pressed for men he enlisted 
in the spring of 1864 and served in Captain Car- 
ington's company until the end of the war. 

In 1850, a few years before he became Adjutant- 
General, my father married Miss Bettie Harper, 
then a resident of Washington County, Texas. My 



mother's father, Captain Harper, was a southern 
planter who emigrated from North Carolina be- 
tween 1846 and 1848, and, settling in Washington 
County, established a Dixie plantation with a hun- 
dred slaves. My mother was a highly cultivated 
and refined woman. On her marriage she brought 
several negro servants with her to her new home 
in Austin. Of her union with my father five chil- 
dren were born. The first two, both boys, died in 
infancy. I was the fourth child born to my parents, 
and first saw the fight of day in Austin, Texas, on 
November 4, 1856. An older sister, Mary, and a 
younger, Eva, survived to adulthood. 

At the close of the Civil War my father returned 
to his family pretty well broken in health and prob- 
ably also in spirit. His slaves were all freed and 
his land holdings, about two hundred acres of cedar 
land, some five or six miles from Austin, and a 
tract of pine land in Grimes County, Texas, were 
not very productive. There was not much law 
practice in Austin in the early post-war days, but 
my father set to work resolutely to provide for his 
family. Though I did not realize it then, I now 
know that he had a hard struggle. I was only 
eight and a half years old when father returned to 
us from the Confederate Army, but I remember he 
used to amuse himself by relating to us vivid ac- 

13 68257 


counts of his Indian fighting and frontier adven- 
tures. What heredity gave me a predilection for 
was strengthened by these narratives, and I early 
conceived a passionate desire to become a frontiers- 
man and live a life of adventure. 

In those early days in Texas there were no free 
schools in Austin, so my father sent the three of 
us, Mary, Eva, and myself, to the pay schools. 
None of these was very good, and I lost nearly two 
years at a German school, trying to mix German 
and English. I have never been of a studious 
nature — the great out of doors always called to 
me, and I found the desk's dead wood particularly 
irksome. When school closed in the early summer 
of 1868, like some of Christ's disciples, I went fish- 
ing and never attended school an hour thereafter. 
For books I substituted the wide-open volume of 
nature and began the life of sport and freedom that 
was to prepare me later for service with the rangers. 

As poor as he was my father always kept a pony, 
and I learned to ride almost before I could walk. 
Raised on the banks of the Colorado River, I learned 
to swim and fish so long ago that I cannot now 
remember when I was unable to do either. I fished 
along the river with a few hand lines and used to 
catch quantities of gaspergou or drums. These 
were fine fish and sold readily on the streets of 



Austin, so I soon saved money enough to buy a 
small skiff or fishing boat. I now bought a trot 
line with a hundred hooks and began fishing in 
real earnest. About five or six miles below Austin 
on the Colorado was Mathews' mill. Just below 
the dam of this mill the fishing was always good, 
and here I made my fishing grounds. I had a large 
dry goods box with inch auger holes bored in it. 
This box, sunk in the river and secured by a rope 
tied to a stob, made a capital trap, and into it I 
dropped my fish as they were caught. In this way 
I kept them alive and fresh until I had enough to 
take into town. 

Many free negroes were farming along the banks 
of the Colorado, and I would hire a pony of them 
for twenty-five cents a trip when I was ready to 
take my catch into town. Many times I have left 
the river by starlight and reached the Old Market 
House at Austin at dawn, spread out a gunny sack, 
bunch my fish and be ready for the first early mar- 
keters. I kept up my fishing until the fish stopped 
biting in the fall of 1868. 

Confederate soldiers returning home from the 
war brought with them many old Enfield muskets. 
These were smooth bore and chambered one large 
ball and three buckshot. These old guns, loaded 
with small shot, were fine on birds and squirrels, 



but they had one serious objection — they would 
kick like a mule. As the boys used to say, they 
"would get meat at both ends!" A day's shooting 
with one of these muskets would leave one's shoul- 
der and arm black and blue for a week. 

When fishing failed I decided to become a hunter, 
and bought one of these old guns for $3.50. It was 
as long as a fence rail, and at my age I could not 
begin to hold it out and shoot off hand, so I had to 
use a rest. The Enfield musket had the longest 
barrel I ever saw on a gun, and the hammer was as 
long as a man's hand. I could cock my gun with 
both hands, but if I failed to get a shot I was not 
strong enough to let the hammer down without 
letting it get away, so I had to carry it cocked to 
keep from losing the cap. I would take it off the 
tube and put it in my pocket until I had a chance 
for another shot. I remember once when I cocked 
my musket I could see no cap on the tube and, 
thinking it had fallen off, I pulled the trigger. The 
cap had stuck up in the old hammer and the gun 
roared like a cannon. I was always sure to look 
for the cap after this. I did not make much head- 
way using this kind of weapon, but it taught me 
the use and danger of firearms, — a knowledge I was 
to find very useful in later years. 

When fishing opened up in the spring of 1869 I 



returned to my fishing lines, and in the fall of the 
same year I bought a double-barreled shotgun for 
$12. With it I killed quail, ducks and other small 
game, all of which I sold on the streets of Austin. 
By the fall of 1870 I was fourteen years old and 
could handle a gun rather well for one of my age. 

Early that winter wild geese came south by the 
hundreds. I used to hunt them down the Colorado 
River, ten or twelve miles below Austin. The birds 
would feed in the corn fields in the early morning, 
then flock to the sand bars in the river during the 
middle of the day. There w r as nothing silly about 
those geese, for they were smart enough to fre- 
quent only the big islands, three or four hundred 
yards from any cover. It was impossible to reach 
them with any kind of a shotgun. I used to slip 
up to them as close as I could and watch them for 
hours, trying to think of some plan to get within 
gun shot of them. I saw as many as a thousand 
geese on those bars at a single time. I have thought 
regretfully of those birds many times since, and 
have wished I could have shot into one of those 
flocks with a modern rifle — I could have killed a 
dozen geese at a shot. 

In the spring of 1871 I had my first trip to the 
frontier of Texas. My father traded some of his 
Grimes County pine land for a bunch of cattle in 



Brown County, and took me with him when he 
went to receive the herd. This was the first time 
I had ever been twenty-five miles from Austin. I 
was delighted with the trip, the people, and the 
country. Those big, fine frontiersmen, each wear- 
ing a pair of sixshooters and most of them carry- 
ing a Winchester, fired my boyish imagination. 
Their accounts of frontier lif e and their Indian tales 
fascinated me. I wanted to stay right there with 
them and lost all interest in ever living in town 
again. During the same year my father drove sev- 
eral bunches of cattle to Austin and I helped him on 
those drives. Thus I began to be a cowboy, — my 
first step toward the life of the open, upon which 
I had set my heart. 

In the summer of 1872 my mother's health began 
to fail and my father took her to Lampasas Springs. 
The water seemed to help her so much that he de- 
cided to make Lampasas our home. At that time 
Lampasas County was strictly a cattle country, but 
there was not much cow hunting during the winter 
in those days. The cattlemen and the cowboys 
spent a good deal of time in town just having a 
good time. During this period I became well ac- 
quainted with them. In the spring of 1873 my 
father made a trip back to Austin on some busi- 
ness. The frontier had been calling to me ever 



since my first visit there, and I now took advantage 
of my father's absence to slip out to Coleman 
County, at that time on the frontier of Texas. 

Monroe Cooksey and Jack Clayton had bought a 
bunch of cattle in Coleman County and I saw the 
outfit when it left Lampasas. I was slightly ac- 
quainted with most of the men in this outfit, so I 
decided to follow it and try to get work. It was 
an Indian country every step of the way, and I was 
afraid to make the trip alone. In a day or two I 
met a man named Bob McCollum. He was hauling 
a load of flour to Camp Colorado and let me travel 
with him. I bade my mother and sisters good bye 
and did not see them again until the next December. 

We reached old Camp Colorado without mishap 
in about five days. Clayton and Cooksey's outfit 
was there loading up supplies for the spring work. 
I stood around watching the cowboys making their 
preparations, but lacked the courage to ask them 
for work. Finally, the outfit started down on Jim 
Ned Creek to camp for dinner. I went with the 
men and at last got up spunk enough to ask Mr. 
Monroe Cooksey for a job. He looked at me for 
a minute and then asked, "What kind of work can 
a boy of your size do?" 

I told him I was willing to do anything a boy of 
my age could do. He made no reply and we went 



on and camped for dinner. After dinner the men 
made ready to go over on Hoard's Creek to camp 
for the night. The boys made a rope corral and 
began to catch their mounts. I just stood there 
like an orphan watching them. Presently Mr. 
Cooksey dashed his rope on a heavy set bay horse. 
The animal showed the whites of his eyes, made a 
rattling noise in his nose and struggled so violently 
that it took three men on the rope to hold him. 
Mr. Cooksey then turned to me and said, "Here, 
boy, if you can ride this * * * (giving an un- 
mentionable name to the horse) you have a job 

I turned, grabbed my saddle, bridle and blanket 
and started to the animal. An elderly man in the 
outfit headed me off. 

"Young man," he said, "this is an old spoiled 
horse, and unless you are a mighty good rider you 
had better not get on him." 

I brushed him aside. 

"Pshaw, I'm hunting work, and while I'm not a 
broncho buster, I will make a stab at riding him 
if he kills me." 

By this time one of the boys had caught the horse 
by both ears and was holding him fast. They threw 
my saddle on him, tightened up the cinch, and 
finally, after much trouble, got the bridle on him 



and lifted me into the saddle. When I had fixed 
myself as best I could they let the animal go. He 
made two or three revolting leaps forward and fell 
with his feet all doubled up under him. 

Mr. Cooksey seemed to realize the danger I was 
in, and shouted to me to jump off. Refore I could 
shake myself loose the old horse had scrambled to 
his feet and dashed off in a run. I circled him 
around to the remuda and rode him until night 
without further trouble. I had won my job, but 
it was a dirty trick for a lot of men to play on a 
boy, and a small boy at that. However, to their 
credit, I wish to say they never put me on a bad 
horse again but gave me the best of gentle ponies 
to ride. 

Our first work was to gather and deliver a herd 
of cattle to the Horrell boys, then camped on Home 
Creek. We worked down to the Colorado River, 
and when we were near old Flat Top ranch the 
men with the outfit left me to drive the remuda 
down the road after the mess wagon while they 
tried to find a beef. I had gone only a mile or two 
when I saw a man approaching me from the rear. 
As he came up I thought he was the finest specimen 
of a frontiersman I had ever seen. He was probably 
six feet tall, with dark hair and beard. He was 
heavily armed, wearing two sixshooters and carry- 



ing a Winchester in front of him and was riding a 
splendid horse with a wonderful California saddle. 
He rode up to me and asked whose outfit it was I 
was driving. I told him Cooksey and Clayton's. 
He then inquired my name. When I told him he 
said, "Oh, yes; I saw your father in Lampasas a 
few days ago and he told me to tell you to come 
home and go to school." 

I made no reply, but just kept my horses moving. 
The stranger then told me his name was Sam Ghol- 
ston. He said it was dangerous for one so young 
to be in a bad Indian country and unarmed, that 
the outfit should not have left me alone, and coun- 
selled me to go back to my parents. I would not 
talk to him, so he finally bade me good bye and 
galloped off. His advice was good, but I had not 
the least idea of going home — I had embraced the 
frontier lif e. 

The Cooksey and Clayton outfit did not stay in 
the cow business long. After filling their contract 
with the Horrell boys they sold out to Joe Franks. 
I suppose I was sold along with the outfit, at least 
I continued to work for Mr. Franks. A kinder 
heart than that of Joe Franks never beat in a human 
breast. He was big of stature and big of soul. He 
seemed to take an interest in his youthful cow- 
puncher, and asked me where I was raised and how 



I came to be away out on the frontier. As cold 
weather came on that fall he gave me one of his 
top coats. It made a pretty good overcoat for me 
and came down quite to my knees. The sleeves 
were so long I could double them up and hold my 
bridle reins, and in one garment I had both coat 
and gloves. 

During the summer of 1873 John Hitsons, Sam 
Gholston and Joe Franks were all delivering cattle 
to old John Chislom, whose outfit was camped on 
the south side of the Concho River, about where 
the town of Paint Rock now stands. The other 
outfits were scattered along down the river about 
half a mile apart. There were probably seventy- 
five or a hundred men in the four camps and at 
least five hundred horses. One evening just after 
dark the Indians ran into Gholston's outfit, cap- 
tured about sixty head of horses and got away with 
them. The redskins and the cowboys had a reg- 
ular pitched battle for a few moments, probably 
firing two hundred shots. This fight was in plain 
view of our camp and I saw the flash of every gun 
and heard the Indians and the cowboys yelling. 
One of Mr. Gholston's men received a flesh wound 
in the leg and several horses were killed. Two 
nights later the Indians ran upon Franks' outfit and 
tried to take our horses. Bob Whitehead and Pete 



Peck were on guard and stood the redskins off. 
We saved our horses by keeping them in a pen for 
the remainder of the night. I was beginning to get 
a taste of frontier lif e early in the game. 

For years cattle had drifted south into Menard 
and Kimble Counties, and Joe Franks was one of 
the first of the Coleman County outfits to go south 
into the San Saba and Llano country. He worked 
the Big and Little Saline Creeks, the Llano and San 
Saba Rivers and found many of his cattle down 
there. By the last of November he had about fin- 
ished work for the year, and, gathering three hun- 
dred fat cows to drive to Calvert, Texas, he left 
John Banister down on the Big Saline to winter the 

I passed through Lampasas with these cows, and 
saw my mother and sisters for the first time in nine 
months. When we reached Bell County a cow 
buyer met us and bought the cows at $10 per head. 
He just got down off his horse, lifted a pair of sad- 
dle bags off and counted out three thousand dol- 
lars in twenty dollar gold pieces, and hired some 
of the boys to help him drive the cattle into Cal- 
vert. Mr. Franks, with most of the outfit, turned 
back to Lampasas. When he settled with me Mr. 
Franks owed me just $200, and he handed me ten 
twenty dollar gold pieces. It was the most money 



I had ever earned and almost the greatest amount 
I had seen in my life. 

I spent December and January at home, and early 
in February, 1874, I started back to Menard County 
with Mr. Franks, as he was anxious to begin work 
as early in the spring as possible. When we reached 
Parsons Ranch on the Big Saline we learned that 
the Indians had stolen all his horses, — seventy-five 
or eighty head, and he had left only eight or ten 
old ponies. Mr. Franks sent Will Banister and 
myself back to Coleman County to pick up ten or 
twelve horses he had left there the year before, 
while he himself returned to Lampasas and Wil- 
liamson Counties to buy horses. 

This trip from Menard County to Coleman 
County, a distance of about one hundred and fifty 
miles, was rather a hazardous trip for two boys to 
make alone. However, we were both armed with 
new Winchesters and would have been able to put 
up a stiff fight if cornered. Our ponies were poor 
and weak, so that it would have been impossible 
for us to have escaped had we met a band of In- 
dians. And this is what we came very near doing. 

There was no road from Menard to Coleman at 
that time, so we just traveled north. I had cow 
hunted over most of that country the year before 
and knew by landmarks pretty well how to go. We 



reached the head of Rig Rrady Creek one evening 
while a cold north wind was blowing. We camped 
for the night right down in the bed of a dry creek 
to get out of the wind. We saddled up next morn- 
ing and had not gone more than a hundred and 
fifty yards from camp before we discovered where 
sixteen or seventeen Indians had just gone along, — 
at least there was that number of pony tracks. 
These redskins had hopped a skunk, gotten down 
and killed it with a chunk of wood. When we 
found the body it had scarcely quit bleeding. We 
saw moccasin tracks as if the savages had all gotten 
off their ponies for a few moments. Ranister and 
I made the trip safely, and returned to Menard 
County early in March. Mr. Franks soon came 
with a new bunch of horses, and we went right to 
work gathering and delivering cattle. 

About the first of June, Ree Clayton came to the 
outfit from Lampasas County and told me my father 
had been dead more than a month. Mr. Franks 
settled with me and I started for home the next 
day. Upon reaching Lampasas I began work with 
Rarrett and Nicholls' outfit. They were the big- 
gest cattle owners in that country and ran three 
large outfits, one in Llano County, one in San Saba 
County, and another in Lampasas. I worked with 



the last mentioned outfit that I might be near my 
mother and sisters. 

I had now become familiar with most aspects of 
frontier life. I had cow punched and seen Indian 
raids, but I had not yet met the Texas "bad man" — 
the murderer and the bandit. My education was 
not long neglected, for it was while working with 
Barrett and Nicholls that I made my acquaintance 
with gentry of that ilk. One day five or six of our 
boys were sitting down in a circle eating on a side 
of calf ribs. One of the men, Jack Perkins, sud- 
denly became involved in an altercation with Levi 
Dunbar, and, without warning, jerked out his six- 
shooter and shot him to death. In rising to my 
feet I had my right shoulder powder burned. 

I stayed with Barrett and Nicholls until they quit 
work about December 1, 1874. In those days cattle 
were not worked much in the winter months, so 
I spent the winter at home. By spring I had be- 
come as restless as a bear and longed to get back 
to the frontier. Finally I could stand the idleness 
no longer and told my mother I was going back to 
Menard County to work for Mr. Franks. I reached 
the town of Menardville early in March, 1875. 
There I learned that Joe Franks was then at work 
on South Llano in Kimble County, about sixty miles 
from Menard. Wess Ellis had just bought the 



Rufe Winn stock of cattle and was ready to start 
on a cow hunt. He wanted me to work for him, 
declaring he could pay me as much as Joe Franks 
or anybody else, so I hired to him for $30 a 
month, — the top wages for a cowboy at that time. 
During the year I was at home a company of 
Texas Rangers commanded by Captain Dan W. 
Roberts had been stationed over on Little Saline. 
This company received its mail at Menardville, and 
I became acquainted with this famous organization. 
Their free, open life along the frontier had fired me 
with longing to become one of them and join in 
their adventurous lives. In the spring of 1875 the 
Governor of Texas authorized Captain Roberts to 
increase his command to fifty men. Almost imme- 
diately Captain Roberts announced in Menardville 
and vicinity that he would enlist twenty good men 
on June 1st to bring his company to full strength. 
Here was my opportunity, and I decided I would be 
one of those twenty recruits. 



The Texas Rangers, as an organization, dates 
from the spring of 1836. When the Alamo had 
fallen before the onslaught of the Mexican troops 
and the frightful massacre had occurred, General 
Sam Houston organized among the Texan settlers 
in the territory a troop of 1600 mounted riflemen. 
This company, formed for the defense of the Texan 
borders, was the original Texas Ranger unit, and 
it is interesting to note that the organization from 
its very inception to the present moment has never 
swerved from that purpose — the protection of 
Texan borders, whether such protection be against 
the Indian, the bandit or marauding Mexicans from 
beyond the Rio Grande. This little troop of rangers 
won everlasting laurels in its stand against Santa 
Anna at the battle of San Jacinto. 

When the Republic of Texas was organized in 
December, 1837, the new state found herself with 
an enormous frontier to protect. To the south was 
the hostile Mexico while to the west and northwest 
roved the Indian and the bandit. To furnish pro- 
tection against such enemies and to form the nu- 
cleus of a national standing army the ranger troop 



was retained. During the seven years that Texas 
had to maintain her own independence before she 
was admitted into the American Union, her rangers 
repelled hordes of Mexicans, fought the murderous 
Apaches, Comanches, and Kiowas, and adminis- 
tered justice on a wholesale plan to a great num- 
ber of outlaws and ruffians that had flocked pell 
mell into the new Republic from the less attractive 
parts of the United States. 

So vital was the service rendered by the rangers 
in protecting the lives and property of the settlers 
along the frontiers of the state that Texas retained 
twelve hundred rangers as mounted police for pa- 
trol of the Mexican border and as a safeguard 
against the savage redskins of the southwest. When 
the Civil War broke out between the North and 
the South, Texas was drawn into the conflict on the 
side of the Confederacy. General Con Terry, an 
old ranger, organized the famous body of men 
known as Terry's Texas Rangers. This command 
was composed almost exclusively of ex-rangers and 
frontiersmen. From Bull Run to Appomattox this 
ranger troop rendered gallant service, and lost 
seventy-five per cent of its original muster roll. 
General Sherman, in his memoirs, speaks admir- 
ingly of the bravery of the rangers at the battle of 



Return to peace and the days of reconstruction 
did not do away with the necessity for the service 
that could only be rendered by the ranger. Ban- 
ditry, Indian uprisings and massacres, cattle thiev- 
ery, all flourished, for the bad man confidently ex- 
pected the post-war turmoil would protect him from 
punishment for his misdeeds. He was to be un- 
deceived, for the rangers effectively taught him that 
they were in the state for the purpose of protecting 
lives and property, and right royally did they per- 
form that duty. From 1868 to 1873 the ranger 
companies were gradually reduced from one thou- 
sand to about three hundred men. 

The Federal Government adopted a most unfor- 
tunate policy toward the Indians after the war. The 
tribes were removed to reservations and rationed 
as public charges. Unscrupulous dealers, in their 
desire for gain, illegally sold firearms to the In- 
dians, and whenever a redskin massacred a fron- 
tiersman he was sure to capture good weapons, so 
that they soon became well armed and very expert 
in handling their new weapons. As no attempt 
was made to confine them to the reservation limits, 
the redskins, under their native chiefs, were always 
sneaking off and raiding West Texas. These ma- 
rauders stole thousands of horses and cattle, and 
did not hesitate to murder and scalp the defenseless 



people along the frontier. Numbers of women and 
children were carried off as captives, a very small 
proportion of which were subsequently ransomed. 
Repeated complaints to Washington brought no re- 
dress. Indeed, some of the government officials 
calmly declared that the Indians were doing no 
harm — it was white men disguised as redskins that 
caused the trouble! 

In 1874 conditions along the frontier had become 
so acute that the need for an organized mounted 
police for the protection of the settlers against the 
continued Indian raids became apparent. As in 
the past the state looked again to her rangers. Early 
in 1874, during the administration of Governor 
Richard Coke, the first Democratic governor since 
secession, the Legislature appropriated $300,000 for 
frontier defense, thus authorizing the formation of 
the Texas Rangers as now constituted. The gov- 
ernor immediately issued a call for four hundred 
and fifty volunteers. These were formed into six 
companies of seventy-five men each. Each of these 
units was officered by a captain and a first and sec- 
ond lieutenant. The companies were designated 
A, R, C, D, E, and F, and received the official name 
of the Frontier Rattalion of Texas Rangers. Major 
John R. Jones of Corsicana, Texas, was commis- 
sioned major of the command. At this time the 



captains received a salary of $100 per month, lieu- 
tenants $75, sergeants $50, and corporals and pri- 
vates $40. Subsequently, as the Legislature contin- 
ually sliced into the ranger appropriation, the pay 
of the private was reduced to only $30 a month, a 
mere pittance for the hazardous service demanded 
of them. 

Early in 1874 the force took the field, and each 
company was assigned a definite territory along 
the frontier. Company "A," being the northern- 
most company, was camped on the main fork of 
the Brazos River; Company "F," the southernmost, 
was stationed on the Nueces River. The remaining 
four companies were posted along the line between 
the two commands mentioned about one hundred 
and twenty-five miles apart, so that the battalion 
of four hundred and fifty men was required to 
cover a frontier of between five and s*ix hundred 

Major Jones was a very able commander, and 
quickly won the confidence of his men and of the 
people along the border he was sent to protect. 
The frontiersmen cooperated with him in every 
way possible, sending runners to the various ranger 
camps whenever an Indian trail was found or a 
bunch of horses stolen. During the very first six 
months of its existence nearly every company in 



the battalion had had an Indian fight and some of 
them two or three. This command finally cleared 
the Texas frontier of the redskins and then turned 
its attention to the other pests of the state, — thieves, 
bandits, and fugitives from justice. In this work 
the ranger rendered service second to none, and be- 
came in an incredibly short time the most famous 
and the most efficient body of mounted police in 
the world. 

Between 1865 and 1883 the Texas Rangers fol- 
lowed one hundred and twenty-eight Indian raid- 
ing parties, and fought the redskins in eighty-four 
pitched battles. During this same period they re- 
covered six thousand stolen horses and cattle and 
rescued three citizens carried off by Indians. In 
this period twelve rangers were killed. Despite this 
record of service, the Legislature at Austin could 
not always be made to see the advantages, — nay, 
the necessity, — for a ranger force, and it was con- 
tinually tinkering with the appropriations for the 
support of the force. When the appropriation was 
small the command was reduced to keep within the 
expenditure doled out by the parsimonious solons, 
and recruited to full strength whenever the law- 
makers could be prevailed upon to increase the an- 
nual ranger budget. 

By 1885 conditions had changed. Texas was no 



longer endangered by Indians, for the rangers had 
done much to convert the red devils into good In- 
dians, — that is, into dead ones. Although the In- 
dians had utterly disappeared from the state, the 
activities of the rangers did not cease. The white 
"bad man" who had stirred up the first Indian 
troubles now began to plunder and murder his own 
race and indulge in every form of lawlessness. 
From hunting the murderous redskins the rangers 
became now stalkers of the man-killers and those 
who despoiled their neighbors of their property. 
The local legal authorities could not or would not 
handle this task themselves, so the rangers were 
made peace officers and given the right of arrest 
without warrant in any part of the state. They 
then became mounted constables to quell disorder, 
prevent crime and bring criminals to justice and 
assist the duly constituted authorities in every way 
possible. This new work was less romantic than 
the old Indian warfare, but it was every bit as 
dangerous and as necessary in the building up of 
the fast developing state. As in every other task 
assigned him the ranger did his duty fearlessly and 
well. Between 1889 and 1890 the rangers made 
five hundred and seventy-nine arrests, among them 
seventy-six murderers. With the coming of the 
railroads the rangers began to use them, as they 



permitted speed and the covering of greater dis- 
tances than were possible on horseback. Moreover, 
commands could be dispatched from one part of 
the state to another as occasion demanded. This 
greater mobility led to larger usefulness and in- 
creasing number of arrests by the ranger forces. 

The outbreak of the Spanish-American War 
found the ranger ready and anxious for service in 
the defense of the Union. Large numbers of them 
were enlisted in the world famous Rough Riders. 

"I have heard from the lips of reliable rangers," 
declared General Miles, in speaking of the ranger 
service in Cuba, "tales of daring that are incom- 
parable. It is indeed too bad that the world knows 
so little about those marvelous men. There have 
been hosts of men among the Texas Rangers who 
were just as nervy as Davy Crockett, Travis, or 
Bowie at the Alamo." 

Thanks to her rangers, Texas is now one of the 
most law-abiding, most orderly states in the Union. 
And, today, more than forty-six years since the or- 
ganization of the battalion, the state still maintains 
a tiny force of rangers numbering sixty-three of- 
ficers and men. In 1920-21, the battalion was com- 
posed of a headquarters company and Companies 
A, C, D, E, and F. As in the beginning of its 
history, the force is stationed along the frontier. 



The headquarters company, under command of 
Captain J. P. Brooks, was stationed at Austin and 
used for emergency calls. Company "A," stationed 
at Presidio, and commanded by Captain Jerry Gray, 
patrols the border between El Paso, Presidio, and 
Jeff Davis Counties and the back country south- 
ward. Company "E," Captain J. L. Anders, patrols 
the line of Presidio and Brewster Counties to the 
line of Terrell and Val Verde Counties and east- 
ward. Company "F," under Captain W. W. Davis, 
was stationed at Del Rio and covered the line from 
Terrell and Val Verde Counties down the river to 
the line between Maverick, Dimmit and Webb 
Counties and the back country. Under the com- 
mand of Captain William Ryan, Company "C" was 
located at Laredo and patrolled the line of Maverick, 
Dimmit and Webb Counties to the line of Zapata 
and Starr Counties and the back country, while 
Company "D," stationed at Brownsville, under Cap- 
tain W. L. Wright, patrols from the line of Zapata 
and Starr Counties down the Rio Grande to its 
mouth and the adjacent back country. 

Sketchy as has been this history, it will show a 
ranger record of continuous duty throughout the 
forty-six years of its existence in guarding the lives, 
the liberty and the property of Texas citizens. And 
the ranger has been content to perform his duty 



unheralded and almost unsung. Performance of 
duty, it matters not where it may lead him, into 
whatever desperate situation or howsoever danger- 
ous the thing demanded, has always been the slogan 
of the organization. For courage, patriotic devo- 
tion, instant obedience and efficiency, the record of 
the Texas Ranger has been equalled by no body of 
constabulary ever mustered. 

Though formed into military units and officered 
as a soldier, the ranger is not a military man, for 
scant attention is paid to military law and prece- 
dent. The state furnished food for the men, forage 
for their horses, ammunition and medical attend- 
ance. The ranger himself must furnish his horse, 
his accoutrements and his arms. There is, then, 
no uniformity in the matter of dress, for each 
ranger is free to dress as he pleases and in the garb 
experience has taught him most convenient for util- 
ity and comfort. A ranger, as any other frontiers- 
man or cowboy, usually wears good heavy woolen 
clothes of any color that strikes his fancy. Some 
are partial to corduroy suits, while others prefer 
buckskin. A felt hat of any make and color com- 
pletes his uniform. While riding, a ranger always 
wore spurs and very high-heeled boots to prevent 
his foot from slipping through the stirrup, for both 
the ranger and the cowboy ride with the stirrup in 



the middle of the foot. This is safer and less fatigu- 
ing on a long ride. For arms, the ranger after 
1877 carried a Winchester rifle or carbine, a Colt's 
.45 revolver, and a Bowie knife. Two cartridge 
belts, one for Winchester and one for revolver am- 
munition, completed his equipment, and so armed 
he was ready to mount and ride. 

"We live in the saddle and the sky is our roof," 
say the old rangers, and this is literally true. The 
rangers are perfect centaurs and almost live in the 
saddle. They take horse where they will and may 
arrest or search in any part of the state. There is 
very little of what a West Point graduate would 
call drill. A ranger is expected simply to be a good 
rider and a quick and accurate shot. Every one of 
them are skilled horsemen and crack shots. No 
crack cavalryman in any army can mount a horse 
more quickly or more expertly than a ranger, and 
he can keep a constant stream of fire pouring from 
his carbine when his horse is going at top speed and 
hit the mark nine times out of ten! Should a 
ranger drop anything on the ground that he wants 
he does not even check the speed of his horse, but, 
bending from the saddle as if he were made of India 
rubber, he picks up the object in full gallop. 

While not on active duty the rangers amuse them- 
selves in various ways. Some play cards, others 



hunt, while the studious spend their time over books 
and good literature. Horse racing is popular, and 
the fastest horse in the company is soon spotted, 
for the rangers match their mounts one against the 
other. At night around their camp fires the men 
are constantly telling stories of their own or some 
comrade's adventures that put to shame all the in- 
ventions of the imaginative fiction writers. But 
when on duty all this is changed. No pace is too 
quick, no task too difficult or too hazardous for 
him. Night and day will the ranger trail his prey, 
through rain and shine, until the criminal is located 
and put behind the bars where he will not again 
molest or disturb peaceful citizens. For bravery 
and endurance and steadfast adherence to duty at 
all times the ranger is in a class all to himself. 
Such was the old ranger, and such is the ranger of 
today. Is it surprising, then, that I was early at- 
tracted to the force and wished to join them in their 
open, joyous and adventurous fife? 




The fame of the Texas Rangers had, of course, 
become common knowledge among all Texans. 
Their deeds of adventure and their open, attractive 
life along the frontier, had always appealed to me, 
and I had long cherished the desire to enlist in the 
battalion. But the enlistment, as announced by 
Captain Roberts, would not be made until June 1, 
1875, and I reached Menardville early in March. I 
had intended going on to join Mr. Franks' outfit, 
but, as explained in a previous chapter, I hired out 
to Mr. Ellis until I could enlist in Captain Roberts' 

About the middle of May, 1875, Joe Franks had 
worked back over into Menard County. I wished 
to see my old friends in his outfit, and so went over 
to meet them. While there I mentioned that I was 
going to join the rangers. A cowboy named Nor- 
man Rodgers, who was working for Mr. Franks, 
said he would also like to join, so we decided we 
would go over to Captain Roberts together and see 
if we couldn't get him to recruit us into his com- 

Rodgers and I rode over to the ranger camp be- 



yond Menardville. Neither of us had ever been in 
such a camp before nor did we know anyone in 
the company. Of the first ranger we met we in- 
quired where we could find the captain. His tent 
was pointed out to us and we went toward it. 

"Jim," said Norman as we approached the tent, 
"you will have to do the talking." 

Captain Roberts met us as we came up and in- 
vited us to be seated. I told him at once that we 
had come to enlist as rangers. He asked us our 
names, where we were working, and finally inquired 
if we had anyone that would recommend us. We 
had not thought of references, but told him that 
probably Mr. Franks or Mr. Ellis would stand for 
us, as they were well known and prominent cattle- 
men for whom we had worked. 

Captain Roberts looked straight at me and said, 
"Did you say your name was Gillett?" 

"Yes, Jim Gillett," I replied. 

He then asked me where I was born, and I told 
him at Austin, Texas. 

"Are you a son of James S. Gillett who was Ad- 
jutant-General under Governor Sam Houston?" 

I told him I was. 

"I have often heard my father, Buck Roberts, 
speak of your father," he said in a friendly tone. 

Captain Roberts then asked us what kind of 



horses we had, telling us that a ranger was required 
to have a good amount, for each man was allowed 
to have only one horse, which had to be a good one, 
that could be ridden every day for a month if neces- 
sary. I told the captain I had two good pony 
mares. He burst out laughing, and said a mare 
was not allowed in the service. He then told us 
to go and see what kind of a mount we could get, 
come back and let him inspect the animals. The 
captain never once said he would enlist us, but, as 
the interview was now over and he had not refused 
us, we went back to camp feeling very hopeful we 
would soon be rangers. 

I secured a big black pony and Norman a gray 
one, not so large as mine but a much prettier horse. 
We returned to the ranger camp a few days later 
mounted on these ponies. The captain looked them 
over, said they were rather small but that he would 
accept them, and told us to be at his camp by May 
31st to be sworn into the service. We left camp 
that evening all puffed up at the prospect of being 
Texas Rangers. 

The last day of May arrived. Norman Rodgers 
and myself with many other recruits we had never 
seen before were at the ranger camp. On June 1, 
1875, at 10 o'clock, we were formed in line, 
mounted, and the oath of allegiance to the State of 



Texas was read to us by Captain Roberts. When 
we had all signed this oath we were pronounced 
Texas Rangers. This was probably the happiest 
day of my lif e, for I had realized one of my great- 
est ambitions and was now a member of the most 
famous and efficient body of mounted police in 
the world. 

Immediately upon being sworn in the men were 
divided into messes, ten men to the mess, and issued 
ten days' rations by the orderly sergeant. These 
rations consisted of flour, bacon, coffee, sugar, 
beans, rice, pepper, salt and soda. No potatoes, 
syrup or lard was furnished, and each man had to 
supply his own cooking utensils. To shorten our 
bread we used bacon grease. Reef was sometimes 
supplied the men, but wild game was so plentiful 
that but little other meat was required. Further- 
more, each recruit was furnished a Sharps carbine. 
.50 caliber, and one .45 Colt's pistol. These arms 
were charged to each ranger, their cost to be de- 
ducted from our first pay. Our salary of $40 per 
month was paid in quarterly installments. The 
state also supplied provender for the horses. 

Though a ranger was forced to supply his own 
mount, the state undertook to pay for the animal 
if it were killed or lost in an Indian fight. To 
establish the impartial value of our animals, Cap- 



tain Roberts marched us into Menardville and asked 
three citizens of the town to place a value on each 
man's mount. This was done, and I was highly- 
gratified when old Coley, my mount, was appraised 
at $125. This formality over, the company was 
moved from Little Saline to Camp Los Moris, five 
miles southwest of Menardville, Texas. We were 
now ready to begin scouting for Indians. 

As is usual under the same circumstances the 
new recruits came in for their share of pranks and 
mishaps. One raw rooky in my mess, fired with 
love of economy, undertook to cook ten days' ra- 
tions for the whole mess at one time. He put a 
quantity of rice on the fire. Soon it began to boil 
and swell, and that surprised ranger found his rice 
increasing in unheard of proportions. He filled 
every cooking vessel in the mess with half -cooked 
rice, and still the kettle continued to overflow. In 
desperation he finally began to pour it on the 
ground. Even then he had enough rice cooked to 
supply the entire company. 

Another recruit, anxious to test his new weapons, 
obtained Captain Roberts' permission to go hunt- 
ing. He had not gone far from camp before he 
began firing at some squirrels. One of his bullets 
struck the limb of a tree and whizzed close to camp. 
This gave an old ranger an idea. He hastened after 



the hunter and gravely arrested him, declaring that 
the glancing bullet had struck a man in camp and 
that Captain Roberts had ordered the careless 
hunter's arrest. The veteran brought in a pale and 
badly scared recruit. 

One of the favorite diversions of the old rangers 
was to make a newcomer believe that the state fur- 
nished the rangers with socks and start him off to 
the captain's tent to demand his share of free 
hosiery. The captain took these pranks in good 
part and assured the crestfallen applicant that the 
rangers were only playing a joke on him, while 
his tormentors enjoyed his discomfiture from a safe 

When they had run out of jokes the rangers set- 
tled down to the regular routine of camp. Each 
morning the orderly sergeant had roll call, at which 
time he always detailed six or eight men with a 
non-commissioned officer to take charge of the 
rangers' horses and the pack mules until relieved 
the following morning by a new guard. The guard 
was mounted and armed and drove the loose stock 
out to graze. The horses were never taken far 
from camp for fear of being attacked by Indians, 
and also to keep them near at hand in case they 
were needed quickly. 

The rangers not on guard spent their time as they 



wished when not on duty, but no man could leave 
the camp without the captain's permission. The 
boys played such games as appealed to them, horse- 
shoe pitching and cards being the favorite diver- 
sions. As long as it did not interfere with a man's 
duty as a ranger, Captain Roberts permitted pony 
racing, and some exciting contests took place be- 
tween rival horse owners. And hunting and fish- 
ing were always available, for woods and streams 
were stocked with game and fish. 

I soon had cause to congratulate myself on my 
enlistment in Company "D," for I found Captain 
D. W. Roberts the best of company commanders. 
At the time I joined his command he was just 
thirty-five years of age, very slender and perhaps 
a little over six feet tall. His beard and hair were 
dark auburn. He was always neatly dressed and 
was kind and affable in manner, — looking more like 
the dean of an Eastern college than the great cap- 
tain he was. 

Captain Roberts was a fine horseman and a good 
shot with both pistol and rifle. He was also a fine 
violinist and often played for the boys. He had 
been raised on the frontier and had such a great 
reputation as an Indian fighter that the Fourteenth 
Legislature of Texas presented him with a fine Win- 
chester rifle for his gallantry in fighting the red- 



skins. The captain had made a close study of the 
habits and actions of the Indians and had become 
such an authority that their life was an open book 
to him. This, of course, gave him a great advan- 
tage in following and fighting them, and under his 
able leadership Company "D" became famous. 
There was not a man in the company that did not 
consider it a compliment to be detailed on a scout 
with Captain Roberts. 

In the latter part of the summer or early fall of 
1875, Captain Roberts visited Colorado County, 
Texas, and returned with a bride, a Miss Lou Con- 
way. Mrs. Roberts was a very refined and elegant 
lady, and soon adapted herself to the customs of 
the camp. She was with her husband on the San 
Saba River during the winter of 1875-76 and soon 
became as popular with the company as Captain 
Roberts himself. 

Most people consider the life of the Texas Ranger 
hard and dangerous, but I never found it so. In 
the first place, the ranger was always with a body 
of well armed men, more than a match for any 
enemy that might be met. Then, there was an 
element of danger about it that appealed to any 
red-blooded American. All of western Texas was 
a real frontier then, and for one who loved nature 
and God's own creation, it was a paradise on earth. 



The hills and valleys were teeming with deer and 
turkey, thousands of buffalo and antelope were on 
the plains, and the streams all over Texas were full 
of fish. Bee caves and bee trees abounded. In the 
spring time one could travel for hundreds of miles 
on a bed of flowers. Oh, how I wish I had the 
power to describe the wonderful country as I saw 
it then. How happy I am now in my old age that 
I am a native Texan and saw the grand frontier 
before it was marred by the hand of man. 

The Lipans, Kickapoos, Comanches, and Kiowa 
Indians used to time their raids so as to reach the 
Texas settlements during the light of the moon so 
they would have moonlight nights in which to steal 
horses and make their getaway before they could 
be discovered. By morning, when their thefts be- 
came known, they would have a long lead ahead 
and be well out on their way into the plains and 
mountains. The captains of the ranger companies 
knew of this Indian habit, and accordingly kept 
scouts constantly in the field during the period of the 
raids. The redskins coming in from the plains 
where water was scarce generally took the near cut 
to the headwaters of the Colorado, Concho, San 
Saba, Llanos, Guadalupe, and Nueces Rivers. By 
maintaining scouts at or near the heads of these 
streams the rangers frequently caught parties of 



Indians going in or coming out from the settlements, 
and destroyed them or recaptured the stolen stock. 

The first light moon in June Captain Roberts or- 
dered a detail of fifteen men in command of Ser- 
geant James B. Hawkins to make a ten days' scout 
toward the head waters of the North Llano River. 
He was to select a secluded spot near old abandoned 
Fort Territ and make camp there. Each morning 
a scout of one or two men would be sent out ten 
or fifteen miles south and another party a like dis- 
tance toward the north to hunt for Indian trails. 
The main body of rangers, keeping carefully con- 
cealed, was in readiness to take up an Indian trail 
at a moment's notice should one be found by the 

One morning Sergeant Hawkins ordered me to 
travel south from camp to the head draws of the 
South Llano and watch for pony tracks. 

"Suppose the Indians get me?" I asked laughingly 
as I mounted my pony. 

"It's your business to keep a sharp lookout and 
not let them catch you," he replied. 

However, though I watched very carefully I could 
find no pony tracks or Indian trails. 

We had with us on this scout Mike Lynch, a pure 
Irishman. Though he was old and gray-headed, he 
was a good ranger, and had much native wit. One 



morning it was Uncle Mike's turn to go on scout 
duty, but in a few hours he was seen coming into 
camp with his horse, Possum, on the jump. He 
reported a fresh Indian trail about ten miles north 
of our camp. When asked how many pony tracks 
he had counted, Lynch at once declared he had 
counted seventeen and thought there were more. 
As the Indians usually came in on foot or with as 
few ponies as they could get by on until they could 
steal others, Sergeant Hawkins suspected the tracks 
Lynch had seen were those of mustangs. The ex- 
cited scout declared vehemently that the tracks were 
not those of wild horses but of Indians. The ser- 
geant was just as positive that no Indian party was 
responsible for the trail, and the two had quite a 
heated argument over the tracks. 

"But how do you know it is an Indian trail?" 
demanded Hawkins. 

"Because I know I know," cried out Lynch in a 
loud voice. 

That settled it. Horses were saddled and mules 
packed as quickly as possible, and the rangers 
marched over to the suspicious trail. When Ser- 
geant Hawkins examined the trail he soon discov- 
ered that the sign had been made by mustangs but 
could not convince the hard-headed Irishman until 
he followed the trail two or three miles and showed 



him the mustang herd quietly grazing under some 
shade trees. Uncle Mike did not mention Indian 
trail any more on that scout. 

Though we did not find any trails or Indians the 
scouting party killed two black bear, several deer 
and about fifteen wild turkey. 

Early in September, 1875, Captain Roberts again 
ordered Sergeant Hawkins to take fifteen men and 
make a ten days' scout on the Rrady Mountains. 
To my great joy I was detailed on this expedition. 
When near the head of Scalp Creek, Menard County, 
on our return trip, the sergeant told the boys to 
keep a sharp lookout for a deer, as we would reach 
the San Saba by noon and would camp on that 
stream for the night. We had not traveled far be- 
fore Ed Seiker killed a nice little spiked buck. We 
strapped him on one of the pack mules, and when 
we arrived at the river we came upon a flock of half- 
grown wild turkeys. Bill Clements leaped from his 
horse and killed six of them. 

We then camped, hobbled and sidelined our 
horses and put a strong guard with them. While 
some of the boys were gathering wood for our fire 
they found an old elm stump ten to twelve feet 
high with bees going in at the top. One of the 
rangers rode over to Rufe Winn's ranch and bor- 
rowed an ax and a bucket. When he returned we 



cut the tree and got more honey than sixteen men 
could eat, besides filling the bucket with nice sealed 
honey, which we gave to Mrs. Winn in return for 
the use of her ax. Then, after dinner, out came 
fishing tackle and, using venison for bait, we caught 
more catfish than the entire crowd could eat. 

Hunting conditions in those days were ideal. I 
have known a single scout to kill three or four bears 
on a single trip. The companies to the north of us 
were never out of buffalo meat in season. Then, in 
the fall, one could gather enough pecans, as fine as 
ever grew, in half a day to last the company a 
month. I have seen hundreds of bushels of the 
nuts go to waste because there was no one to gather 
them — besides they sold on the market for fifty 
cents per bushel. No wonder that a boy that loved 
the woods and nature was charmed and fascinated 
with the life of the Texas Ranger. It was a picnic 
for me from start to finish, and the six years I was 
with the battalion were the happiest and most in- 
teresting of my life. 

But hunting and fishing and vacation scouts were 
not the sole duties of a ranger. Pleasure was abun- 
dant, but there were times when all these were laid 
aside. For the game guns and the fishing rod we 
exchanged our carbines and our sixshooters and 
engaged in hazardous expeditions after marauding 



redskins. I was soon to see this latter aspect of 
ranger life, for in the latter part of August, 1875, 
I became a real ranger and entered upon the real 
work of our battalion — that of protecting the fron- 
tier against the roving Indians and engaging them 
in regular pitched battles. 



The latter part of August, 1875, Private L. P. 
Seiker was sent on detached service to Fort Mason, 
about fifty miles due east of our camp. While 
there a runner came in from Honey Creek with the 
report that a band of fifteen Indians had raided the 
John Gamble ranch and stolen some horses within 
twenty-five steps of the ranch house. The redskins 
appeared on their raid late in the evening and the 
runner reached Mason just at dark. 

Lam Seiker had just eaten his supper and was 
sitting in the lobby of the Frontier Hotel when the 
message came. He hurried to the livery stable, 
saddled his horse, Old Pete, and started on an all- 
night ride for the company. The nights in August 
are short, but Seiker rode into our camp about 8 
o'clock the following morning and reported the 
presence of the Indians. 

The company horses were out under herd for the 
day, but Captain Roberts sent out hurry orders for 
them. Sergeant Plunk Murray was ordered to de- 
tail fifteen men, issue them ten days' rations and 
one hundred rounds of ammunition each. Second 
Sergeant Jim Hawkins, Privates Paul Durham, Nick 



Donnelly, Tom Gillespie, Mike Lynch, Andy Wil- 
son, Henry Maltimore, Jim Trout, William Kim- 
brough, Silas B. Crump, Ed Seiker, Jim Day, John 
Cupps and myself, under command of Captain 
Roberts, were selected as the personnel of the scout. 
As can be imagined I was delighted with my good 
fortune in getting on the party and looked forward 
with intense satisfaction to my first brush vvith 

The mules were soon packed and by the time the 
horses reached camp the scout was ready. Ser- 
geant Hawkins, as soon as the men had saddled 
their horses, walked over to the captain, saluted and 
told him the scout was ready. Before leaving camp 
Captain Roberts called to Sergeant Murray and told 
him that he believed the Indians had about as many 
horses as they could well get away with, and that 
they would probably cross the San Saba River near 
the mouth of Scalp Creek and follow the high divide 
between the two streams on their westward march 
back into the plains. If the redskins did not travel 
that way the captain thought they would go out 
up the Big Saline, follow the divide between the 
North Llano and San Saba Rivers westward and 
escape, but he was confident the band would travel 
up the divide north of Menardville. He determined 
to scout that way himself, and instructed Murray 



to send two rangers south over to the head waters 
of Bear Creek to keep a sharp lookout for the trail. 
These two scouts were to repeat their operations 
the next day, and if they discovered the Indian trail 
Murray was to make up a second scout and follow 
the redskins vigorously. 

His plan outlined, Captain Roberts gave the order 
to mount, and we rode toward Menardville, making 
inquiry about the Indians. All was quiet at this 
little frontier village, so we crossed the San Saba 
River just below the town, and after passing the 
ruins of the Spanish Fort, Captain Roberts halted 
his men and prepared to send out trailers. Two of 
the best trailers in the command were ordered to 
proceed about four hundred yards ahead of the 
party and keep a close watch for pony tracks while 
they traveled due north at a good saddle horse gait. 
The main body of men, under the captain himself, 
would follow directly behind the outposts. 

Our party had traveled about eight or nine miles 
when Captain Roberts' keen eyes discovered a lone 
pony standing with his head down straight ahead 
of us. He sighted the animal before the trailers 
did, and remarked to us that there the trail was. 
The outposts halted when they saw the pony and 
waited for us to come up. Sure enough, here was 
the Indian trail probably twenty yards wide. Cap- 



tain Roberts dismounted and walked over the sign, 
scrutinizing every pony track, bunch of grass and 
fallen leaf. He then examined the old pony. The 
animal was cut with a lance, with his back sore 
and his feet all worn out. It was then between 12 
and 1 o'clock, and the captain thought the Indians 
had passed that way about sunrise, for the blood 
and sweat on the horse was now dry. The trail 
showed the raiders were driving rather fast and 
were probably thirty-five or forty miles ahead of us. 
The captain decided it would be a long chase and 
that we would just have to walk them down if we 
caught them at all. 

There was no water on this divide so we took 
the trail without stopping for dinner. Captain 
Roberts had a fine saddle horse, Old Rock, and we 
followed the trail at a steady gait of five or six miles 
an hour. At sundown we reached the old govern- 
ment road that runs from Fort McKavett to Fort 
Concho. We were then about twelve or fifteen 
miles south of Kickapoo Springs, so we turned up 
the road, reaching the springs late at night. The 
horses had not had a drop of water since leaving 
the San Saba that morning, and, facing a hot August 
sun all day, the men were pretty well tired out when 
they reached camp, had supper and gotten to bed. 
We estimated we had ridden about sixty miles since 



leaving camp. During the day Captain Roberts' 
horse cast a shoe, so Tom Gillespie shod him by 
firelight, as it was the captain's intention to resume 
the trail at daylight. 

The following morning Captain Roberts took a 
southwest course from Kickapoo Springs and par- 
alleled the Indian trail we had left the evening be- 
fore. It was late in the day before we picked the 
trail up again, and many of the boys were afraid 
we had lost it altogether, but the captain laughed 
at their fears and never doubted that we should find 
it again. The Indians, as their trail showed, were 
now traveling over a tolerably rough country, which 
made our progress slow. About noon we found 
some rain water, and, as it was fearfully hot, we 
camped for dinner and to give the horses a short 

When the boys went out to catch their mounts 
we found that we had camped right in a bed of 
rattlesnakes. Two of our horses had been bitten. 
Jim Day's Checo had a head on him as big as a 
barrel, while the captain's horse, Old Rock, had 
been bitten on his front leg just above the ankle, 
and it had swollen up to his body. Neither of the 
animals was able to walk. Jim Day could not be 
left alone in that Indian country, so Captain Roberts 
detailed Private Cupps to stay with Day until the 



horses died or were able to travel, — in either case 
they were then to return to camp. The animals 
soon recovered and Day and Cupps beat us back 
to camp. 

The pack loads were now doubled on one mule 
so Captain Roberts could ride the other. Reduced 
to thirteen men, we followed the Indians until night. 
It was a hard day on both men and beasts, so we 
camped where we found a little water in a draw 
that drained into the South Concho River. Consid- 
ering the way we had come the captain thought we 
had covered sixty miles during the day's ride. We 
had two rather old men on the scout, Mike Lynch 
and Andy Wilson, and they were nearly all in. I 
awoke Andy at 2 a. m. to go on guard. The poor 
fellow was so stiff he could hardly stand, and I 
tried to get him to go back to bed, telling him I 
would stand his guard, but he was game, and in a 
few minutes hobbled out to the horses and re- 
lieved me. 

Early in the morning we were up and traveling. 
The mule Captain Roberts was riding did not step 
out as fast as Old Rock had done, and the boys 
had an easier time keeping up. We camped at 
noon on just enough rain water to do us and took 
up the trail again after dinner. The trailers 
stopped suddenly, and as we rode up Captain 



Roberts asked what was the matter. They said it 
seemed as though the Indians at this point had 
rounded up the horses and held them for some cause 
or other. 

The captain dismounted and swept the country 
with his field glasses. He circled around where the 
horses had been standing and found where a lone 
Indian had walked straight away from the animals. 
He followed the tracks to an old live oak tree that 
had been blown down. Then the reason for the 
stop became apparent: the Indians had sighted a 
herd of mustangs grazing just beyond this tree and 
the redskin had slipped up on them and killed a 
big brown mare. Captain Roberts picked up the 
cartridge shell the old brave had used and found it 
to be from a .50 caliber buffalo gun. We also found 
the mustang, from which the Indians had cut both 
sides of ribs and one hind quarter. 

Captain Roberts was much elated. 

"Boys," he said with a smile, "we now have 
ninety-five chances out of a hundred to catch those 
Indians. They will not carry this raw meat long 
before stopping to cook some. We have followed 
them now over one hundred and fifty miles, and 
they have never stopped to build a fire. They are 
tired and hungry and probably know where there 
is water not far away." 



He spoke with such confidence that I marveled 
at his knowledge of the Indian habits. 

We were now on the extreme western draw of 
the South Concho River, far above the point at which 
the water breaks out into a running stream. 
Finally the trail led out on that level and vast 
tract of country between the head of South Concho 
and the Pecos on the west. These Indians turned 
a little north from the general direction they had 
been traveling, and all of a sudden we came to some 
rock water holes. 

Here the redskins had built three fires, cooked 
both sides of the mustang ribs and had picked them 
clean. From this high table land they could look 
back over their trail for fifteen miles. The captain 
thought they had been there early in the morning, 
as the fires were out and the ashes cold. We did 
not lose any time at this camp, but hurried on, fol- 
lowing the trail until late in the evening, when the 
trailers again halted. When we came up we found 
that the trail that had been going west for nearly 
two hundred miles had suddenly turned straight 

Captain Roberts seemed to be puzzled for a time, 
and said he did not understand this move. About 
one mile north there was a small motte of mesquite 
timber. This he examined through his glasses, 



seeming to me to examine each tree separately. 
The trail led straight into these trees, and we fol- 
lowed it. In the mesquite timber we found the 
Indians had hacked some bushes partly down, bent 
them over, cut up the horse meat they had been 
carrying with them into tiny strips, strung it on 
the bushes and, building a fire beneath them, had 
barbecued their flesh. The redskins had made the 
prettiest scafelo for meat cooking I ever saw. We 
found plenty of fire here, and the captain was sure 
we would have an Indian fight on the morrow. 

From the trees the trail swung west again. The 
redskins were traveling slowly now, as they evi- 
dently thought they were out of danger. Just be- 
fore sundown the scout halted, and we were or- 
dered not to let any smoke go up lest the band we 
were trailing should spot it and take alarm. As 
soon as we had cooked our supper Captain Roberts 
had the fires carefully extinguished. It had been 
a good season on the table lands and there were 
many ponds filled with water, some of them one 
hundred yards wide. We camped right on the edge 
of one of these big holes and where the Indians had 
waded into it the water was still muddy. The boys 
were cautioned not to strike a match that night as 
we were certain the Indians were not far ahead of 



us. We covered between forty and fifty miles 
that day. 

Camp was called at daybreak. We dared not 
build a fire, so we could have no breakfast. We 
saddled our horses and again took the trail. Old 
Jennie, the pack mule, was packed for the last time 
on earth, for she was killed in the fight that shortly 
followed. As soon as it was light enough to see a 
pony track two of the boys traced it on foot and 
led their horses, the remainder of our party coming 
along slowly on horseback. By sunrise we were 
all riding and following the trail rapidly, eager to 
sight the marauding thieves. We had traveled some 
five or six miles when Paul Durham called Captain 
Roberts' attention to a dark object ahead that looked 
as if it were moving. The captain brought his field 
glasses to bear on the object specified and exclaimed 
it was the Indians. 

He ordered the boys to dismount at once, tighten 
their cinches, leave their coats and slickers and 
make ready to fight. As we carried out this order 
a distressing stillness came over the men. Captain 
Roberts and Sergeant Hawkins were the only ones 
of our party that had ever been in an Indian fight, 
and I suppose the hearts of all of us green, un- 
seasoned warriors beat a little more rapidly than 
usual at the prospect of soon smelling powder. 



Captain Roberts called out to us in positive tones 
not to leave him until he told us to go, and not to 
draw a gun or pistol until ordered, declaring that 
he wanted no mistake on the eve of battle. He 
ordered the pack mule caught and led until we went 
into the fight, when she was to be turned loose. 

The Indians were out on an open prairie dotted 
here and there with small skirts of mesquite timber. 
The captain thought our only chance was to ride 
double file straight at them in the hope they would 
not look back and discover us. We moved forward 
briskly, and as luck would have it, we got within 
four or five hundred yards of the redskins before 
they sighted us. 

At once there was a terrible commotion. The 
Indians rounded up their stock and caught fresh 
mounts almost in the twinkling of an eye. Then, 
led by their old chief, they took positions on a little 
elevated ground some two hundred yards beyond 
the loose horses. The redskins stationed themselves 
about fifteen or twenty feet apart, their battle line 
when formed being about one hundred yards wide. 
As each warrior took his station he dismounted, 
stood behind his horse and prepared to fire when 
given the signal. 

The captain with a smile turned to us and said, 



"Boys, they are going to fight us. See how beau- 
tifully the old chief forms his line of battle." 

From a little boy I had longed to be a ranger and 
fight the Indians. At last, at last, I was up against 
the real thing and with not so much as an umbrella 
behind which to hide. I was nervous. I was aw- 
fully nervous. 

We were now within one hundred steps of the 
redskins. Then came the order to dismount, shoot 
low and kill as many horses as possible. The cap- 
tain said as we came up that every time we got an 
Indian on foot in that country we were sure to kill 
him. With the first shot everybody, Indian and 
ranger, began firing and yelling. 

In a minute we had killed two horses and one 
Indian was seen to be badly wounded. In another 
minute the redskins had mounted their horses and 
were fleeing in every direction. Captain Roberts 
now ordered us to mount and follow them. The 
roar of the guns greatly excited my pony and he 
turned round and round. I lost a little time in 
mounting, but when I did get settled in the saddle 
I saw an Indian running on foot. He carried a 
Winchester in his hand and waved to another In- 
dian who was riding. The latter turned and took 
the one on foot up behind him. As they started 
away for a race I thought to myself that no grass 



pony on earth could carry two men and get away 
from me and Old Coley. The Indians had a good 
animal, but I gradually closed on them. The red- 
skin riding behind would point his gun back and 
fire at me, holding it in one hand. I retaliated by 
firing at him every time I could get a cartridge in 
my old Sharps carbine. I looked back and saw Ed 
Seiker coming to my aid as fast as old Dixie would 
run. He waved encouragement to me. 

Finally the old brave ceased shooting, and as I 
drew a little closer he held out his gun at arm's 
length and let it drop, probably thinking I would 
stop to get it. I just gave it a passing glance as I 
galloped by. He then held out what looked to be 
a fine rawhide rope and dropped that, but I never 
took the bait. I just kept closing in on him. He 
now strung his bow and began using his arrows 
pretty freely. Finally he saw I was going to catch 
him, and turned quickly into a little grove of mes- 
quite timber. I was considered a fairly good brush 
rider, and as we went in among the trees I drew 
right up within twenty steps of the brave, jumped 
from my mount and made a sort of random shot 
at the horse, Indian and all. The big .50 caliber 
bullet struck the Indian pony just where its head 
couples on its neck, passed through the head and 



came out over the left eye. It killed the horse at 
once and it fell forward twenty feet. 

The old warrier hit the ground running, but I 
jumped my horse and ran after him. As I passed 
the dead horse I saw the front rider struggling to 
get from under it. To my surprise I saw he was 
a white boy between fifteen and sixteen years old 
with long bright red hair. 

By this time Ed Seiker had arrived and was dis- 
mounting. The fugitive warrior now peeped from 
behind a tree and I got a fine shot at his face but 
overshot him six inches, cutting off a limb just 
over his head. He broke to run again, and as he 
came into view Ed placed a bullet between his 
shoulders. He was dead in a minute. As Ed and 
I walked up to the dead Indian we found he had 
also been shot in one ankle and his bow had been 
partly shot in two. In his quiver he had left only 
three arrows. 

Seiker and I hurried back to the dead horse to 
help the white boy, but he had extricated himself 
and disappeared. We then returned to the dead 
warrior and Seiker scalped him. We took the In- 
dian's bow shield and a fine pair of moccasins. I 
also found a fine lance near where the horse fell, 
and I presume it was carried by the white boy. We 
found the redskin had no Winchester cartridges, 



and this was why he dropped the gun — he could 
not carry it and use his bow. We went back over 
the trail but were unable to find the gun the brave 
had dropped as a bait. 

By noon that day the boys had all returned to 
where the fight had begun and the Indian horses 
had been left. Jim Hawkins and Paul Durham cap- 
tured a Mexican boy about fifteen years old. He 
looked just like an Indian, had long plaited hair 
down his back, was bare headed, wore moccasins 
and a breech-clout. Had he been in front of me I 
would surely have killed him for a redskin. Cap- 
tain Roberts spoke Spanish fluently, and from this 
boy he learned that the Indians were Lipans that 
lived in Old Mexico. He was taken back to our 
camp and finally his uncle came and took him 
home. He had been captured while herding oxen 
near old Fort Clark, Texas, and an elder brother, 
who was with him at the time, had been killed. 

The boys were then sent back by Captain Roberts 
to find the white lad that had been with the Indian 
Seiker had killed. Though we searched carefully 
we could find no trace of the mysterious youngster. 
Some years later I learned that this boy's name was 
Fischer and that his parents went into Old Mexico 
and ransomed him. He was from Llano County, 
and after his return he wrote, or had written, a 



small pamphlet that contained an account of his life 
with the Indians. He told of being with old Chief 
Magoosh in this fight. He declared he hid in the 
grass within sight of the rangers while they were 
hunting him, but was afraid to show himself for 
fear of being killed. 

When the rangers had all gathered after the fight 
our pack mule, Jennie, was missing. We supposed 
in the run that she had followed the Indians off. 
Six months later Ed §eiker was detailed to pilot a 
body of United States soldiers over that same coun- 
try to pick out a road to the Pecos River. He vis- 
ited our old battlefield and found Jennie's carcass. 
She had a bullet hole in the center of her forehead. 
The Indians in shooting back at their attackers 
probably hit her with a chance shot. The pack 
saddle was still strapped to her body, but wolves 
had eaten all the supplies. Five hundred rounds of 
ammunition were still with her, showing that no 
one had seen her since the day of her death. 

Lacking Jennie's supplies, we did not have a 
blooming thing to eat but the barbecued horse meat 
we had captured from the Indians. This had no 
salt on it, and I just could not swallow it. In the 
fight we killed three horses and one Indian and cap- 
tured the Mexican lad. At least two redskins were 
badly wounded, and as victors we captured fifty- 



eight head of horses and mules, several Indian sad- 
dles and bridles and many native trinkets. Not a 
man or a horse of our party was hurt, the pack 
mule being our only fatality. All voted Captain 
Roberts the best man in the world. 

We turned our faces homeward, hungry and tired 
but highly elated over our success. The second day 
after the fight we reached Wash Delong's ranch on 
the head waters of the South Concho River. Mr. 
Delong, a fine frontiersman, killed a beef for us 
and furnished us with flour and coffee without cost. 
Three days later we were back at our camp at Los 
Moris. The stolen stock was returned to their own- 
ers, and thus ended my first campaign against the 



Soon after our return from our first brush with 
Indians we were introduced to yet another phase 
of ranger activity — the quieting of feuds, for not 
only were the rangers employed in protecting the 
frontiers against the Indians, but they were also 
frequently called upon to preserve law and order 
within the towns and cities of the state. In those 
early days men's passions were high and easily 
aroused. In a country where all men went armed, 
recourse to fire arms was frequent, and these feuds 
sometimes led to active warfare between the ad- 
herents of each party to the great discomfort of 
the citizens among whom such a miniature war was 

Mason and the adjoining county, Gillespie, had 
been settled by Germans in the early history of the 
state. These settlers were quiet, peaceful and made 
most excellent citizens, loyal to their adopted coun- 
try and government when undisturbed. Most of 
these Germans engaged in stock raising and were 
sorely tried by the rustlers and Indians that com- 
mitted many depredations upon their cattle. 

In the latter part of September, 1875, Tim Wil- 



liamson, a prominent cattleman living in Mason 
County, was arrested on a charge of cattle theft 
by John Worley, a deputy sheriff of that county. 
Previous to that time there had been a number of 
complaints about loss of cattle, and the Germans 
charged that many of their cattle had been stolen 
and the brands burned. Much indignation had been 
aroused among the stockmen of the county and 
threats of violence against the thieves were com- 

As soon as the news of Williamson's arrest on 
charge of cattle thieving became known a large mob 
formed and set out in pursuit of the deputy sheriff 
and his prisoner. On his way to Mason, Worley 
was overtaken by this posse. When he saw the 
pursuing men Williamson divined their purpose and 
begged the sheriff to let him run in an effort to save 
his life. Worley refused and, it is said, drew his 
pistol and deliberately shot Williamson's horse 
through the loin, causing it to fall. Unarmed and 
unmounted Williamson was killed without a chance 
to protect himself and without any pretense of a 
trial. After the murder Worley and the mob dis- 

Whether or not Williamson was guilty of the 
charge against him, he had friends who bitterly 
resented the deputy sheriff's refusal to allow the 



murdered man a chance for his life and his death 
caused a great deal of excitement and bitter com- 
ment in the county. A man named Scott Cooley, 
an ex-ranger of Captain Perry's Company "D," was 
a particular friend of Williamson and his family. 
Cooley had quit the ranger service at the time of 
his friend's murder and was cultivating a farm near 
Menardville. He had worked for the dead man and 
had made two trips up the trail with him. While 
working with the murdered cattleman Cooley had 
contracted a bad case of typhoid fever and had 
been nursed back to health by Mrs. Williamson's 
own hands. 

When the news of Tim Williamson's murder 
reached Scott Cooley he was much incensed, and 
vowed vengeance against the murderers of his 
friend. He left his farm at once and, saddling his 
pony, rode into the town of Mason heavily armed. 
He had worked out a careful plan of his own and 
proceeded to put it into execution immediately on 
his arrival. Stabling his horse in a livery stable, 
he registered at the hotel. As he was entirely un- 
known in Mason, Cooley remained in town several 
days without creating any suspicion. He proved 
himself a good detective, and soon discovered that 
the sheriff and his deputy were the leaders in the 
mob that had killed his friend. Biding his time and 



pursuing his investigations he soon learned the 
names of every man in the posse that murdered 

His information complete, Cooley decided upon 
action. He mounted his pony and rode out to the 
home of John Worley, the deputy sheriff that had 
refused Williamson a chance to flee for his life. 
Cooley found Worley engaged in cleaning out a 
well. The avenger dismounted, asked for a drink 
of water and entered into conversation with the 
unsuspecting man. Finally, as Worley was draw- 
ing his assistant out of the well, Cooley asked him 
if his name was John Worley. The deputy sheriff 
replied that it was. Cooley then declared his mis- 
sion and shot the sheriff to death. 

At the first crack of Cooley's pistol Worley let 
the windlass go, and the man he was drawing up 
out of the well fell back about twenty-five feet into 
it. Cooley deliberately stooped down, cut off both 
of Worley's ears, put them in his pocket, and gal- 
loped off. Victim number one was chalked up to 
Williamson's credit. Making a quick ride across 
Mason County to the western edge of Llano County, 
Cooley waylaid and killed Pete Brader, the second 
on his list of mob members. 

These two murders struck terror into the hearts 
of nearly every citizen of Mason County. No one 



could tell who would be the next victim of the un- 
erring aim of Scott Cooley's rifle. The whole 
county rose up in arms to protect themselves. Ter- 
rified lest he be the next victim of the avenger, 
Cooley, the sheriff of Mason County promptly left 
Mason and never returned. Tim Williamson had 
other friends anxious to avenge him, and the kill- 
ing of Brader was their rallying signal. John and 
Mose Beard, George Gladden, and John Ringgold 
immediately joined Cooley in his work of ven- 
geance. The gang rode into the town of Mason, 
and in a fight with a posse of citizens, killed an- 
other man. 

Fearing the outbreak of a real feud war in Mason, 
the Governor of Texas ordered Major Jones to the 
relief of the frightened citizens. The order reached 
Major Jones while he was on his way down the fine 
near the head of the Guadalupe River. He at once 
turned his company back, and with a detachment 
of ten men from Company "D" he marched to 
Mason. Company "A," Major Jones' escort, was 
then commanded by Captain Ira Long, and the 
thirty men in that company and the ten boys of 
Company "D" gave the major forty men for his 
relief expedition. 

Before the rangers could reach Mason, the sher- 
iff's party had a fight with Cooley's gang down on 



the Llano River and killed Mose Beard. On his 
arrival in Mason, Major Jones sent scouts in every 
direction to hunt Cooley. He kept this up for 
nearly two weeks but without result. He finally 
learned that nearly the whole of his command, 
especially the Company "D" boys that had ranged 
with Cooley, was in sympathy with the outlaw and 
was making no serious attempt to locate or imperil 
him, It was even charged that some of the Com- 
pany "D" rangers met Cooley at night on the out- 
skirts of Mason and told him they did not care if 
tie killed every d — d Dutchman in Mason County 
that formed part of the mob that had murdered 

Major Jones saw he would have to take drastic 
>teps at once. He drew up his whole force of forty 
nen and made them an eloquent speech. He said 
le had a special pride in the Frontier Battalion and 
vas making it his life's study and that he person- 
illy had a kindly feeling for every man in the 
jervice. He then reminded the men in the most 
eeling manner of the oath they had taken to pro- 
ect the State of Texas against all her enemies what- 
;oever, — an oath every true man was bound to 
lonor. He declared he knew many of the com- 
Inand had a friendly feeling for Scott Cooley, espe- 
cially those boys who had shared the lif e of a ranger 



with him, and that he, himself, felt keenly the posi- 
tion in which they were placed. While Tim Wil- 
liamson had met a horrible death at the hands of a 
relentless mob, that did not justify Cooley in killing 
people in a private war of vengeance in defiance of 
the law and the rangers. 

As the climax of his speech the major said, "Men, 
I now have a proposition to make to you. If every 
man here who is in sympathy with Scott Cooley and 
his gang and who does not wish to pursue him to 
the bitter end will step out of ranks I will issue 
him an honorable discharge and let him quit the 
service clean." 

The major paused and about fifteen men stepped 
to the front. 

"Gentlemen," continued Major Jones, "those who 
do not avail themselves of this opportunity I shall 
expect to use all diligence and strength in helping 
me to break up or capture these violators of the 

After the discharge of the Cooley sympathizers, 
the rangers went to work with a new vigor, and 
finally captured George Gladden and John Ringgold. 
Gladden was sent to the state penitentiary for 
twenty-five years, while Ringgold received a life sen- 
tence. Probably Scott Cooley was informed of 
Major Jones' appeal to the rangers, for he became 



less active around Mason after this. John Beard, 
it was reported, skipped Texas and went to Arizona. 

Soon after Cooley killed John Worley, Norman 
Rodgers got permission from Captain Roberts to 
ride over to Joe Franks' cow outfit to exchange his 
horse for a better one. When Rodgers rode into 
the cowboy camp he noticed a man resting under a 
tree near the fire. The stranger called one of the 
cowboys and asked him who Norman was. As 
Rodgers left camp this man followed him and asked 
if he were one of Roberts' rangers and if he knew 
"Major" Reynolds. Rodgers replied that he knew 
Reynolds very well. 

The man then declared he was Scott Cooley and, 
reaching into his pocket, he pulled out John Wor- 
ley's ears. 

"You take these ears to 'Major' Reynolds with 
my compliments, but don't you tell anybody you 
saw me." 

Rodgers duly delivered the ears and Reynolds 
cautioned him to say nothing about them. Forty 
years afterward, at an old settlers reunion in Sweet- 
water, Norman Rodgers mentioned this incident in 
a speech — he had kept his promise to Cooley and 
Reynolds all those years. 

Having lost his friends and his sympathizers in 
the rangers, Cooley returned to Blanco County, 



where he had formerly lived. Here he was stricken 
with brain fever, and though tenderly nursed, 
shielded by his friends, he died without ever being 
brought to trial for his killings. This ended the 
Mason County War, but before the feud died some 
ten or twelve men were killed and a race war nar- 
rowly averted. 



Despite their usefulness in protecting the frontiers 
and in maintaining law and order, the Texas 
Rangers have always had to fight more or less 
strenuously to obtain the necessary appropriation 
for their annual maintenance from the State Legis- 
lature. Whenever the appropriation is small there 
is but one remedy, — reduce the personnel of each 
company to the lowest limits possible. In the fall 
of 1875 the Adjutant-General notified the captains 
all along the line to reduce their companies to 
twenty men each for the winter at the end of the 
current quarter. As the day for reduction arrived 
there were some anxious moments among the men 
of Company "D" as no one knew just who was to 
be retained in the service. 

On December 1st Captain Roberts formed the 
command in line and explained it was his sad duty 
to reduce the company to twenty men, and an- 
nounced that the orderly sergeant would read the 
names of those to be retained in the company. The 
sergeant then stepped forward and began to read. 
First Sergeant Plunk Murray, Second Sergeant 
James Hawkins, First Corporal Lam Seiker, Sec- 



ond Corporal Tom Griffin, and Privates Charles 
Nevill, Tom Gillespie, Nick Donley, Jim Trout, 
Henry Maltimore, Bat Maltimore, Jack Martin, 
W. T. Clements, Ed Seiker, Andy Wilson, J. W. 
Bell, Norman Rodgers, Dock Long, Tom Mead, 
Frank Hill, and Jim Gillett were the lucky ones to 
be retained in the command. The remainder of 
the company was thereupon discharged. My relief 
may be imagined when my name was read out, for 
I had learned to love the ranger life and was loth 
to quit it. 

After reduction we went into winter camp in a 
bend of the San Saba River about three miles east 
of Menardville. In the river bottom was plenty of 
good timber, so each mess of five men built a log 
cabin, sixteen to eighteen feet square, for their 
occupancy. These cabins, each with a chimney and 
a fireplace, formed the western side of our horse 
corral and made most comfortable winter abodes. 
During the winter the boys played many tricks 
upon each other, for there were no Indian raids 
during the time we were in this winter camp. One 
of the favorite stunts was to extract the bullet from 
a cartridge, take out the powder and wrap it in a 
rag, and then, while the inmates of a given cabin 
would be quietly smoking or reading or talking 
around their fire, climb upon the roof and drop the 



rag down the chimney. When the powder exploded 
in the fire the surprised rangers would fall back- 
ward off their benches, — to the huge glee of the 
prank player. At other times a couple of rangers 
would post themselves outside a neighbor's cabin 
and begin to yell, "Fire! Fire!!" at the top of their 
lungs. If the cabin owners did not stand in the 
doorway to protect it all the rangers in camp would 
rush up and throw bedding, cooking utensils, sad- 
dles and bridles, guns and pistols outside as quickly 
as they could. In a jiffy the cabin would be cleaned 
out and the victims of the joke would have to lug 
all their belongings back in again. 

But not all our time was spent in practical joking. 
There were many rangers of a studious mind, and 
during the long winter evenings they pored over 
their books. Several of our boys, by their study 
here and at other leisure hours, qualified themselves 
for doctors, lawyers, and professional callings. And 
there were several writers in camp that contributed 
more or less regularly to the magazines and news- 
* One of the rangers, Nick Donley, was a baker by 
trade, and he soon built a Dutch oven and made 
bread for the rangers. We pooled our flour and 
had fresh, warm bread every morning. This was 
so good and we ate so much of it that our allow- 



ance of flour would not last for the period issued, 
and Captain Roberts was compelled to order the 
bake oven torn down. Thereafter the boys baked 
their own bread and the flour lasted. 

Some of the rangers had captured young bear 
cubs, and we had them in camp with us as pets. 
They grew rapidly and were soon big fellows and 
immensely popular with the boys. Sometimes a 
bear would break loose from its chain, and then 
all of us would turn out to hunt the escaped pet. 
Most often we would soon find him seated in a tree 
which he had climbed as soon as he had broken 
his shackles. And I cannot here forbear mention- 
ing the useful little pack mules that served the 
rangers so long and so well. When the battalion 
was formed in 1874 a number of little bronco mules 
were secured for packing. They soon learned what 
was expected of them and followed the rangers like 
dogs. Carrying a weight of one hundred and fifty 
to two hundred pounds, they would follow a scout 
of rangers on the dead run right into the midst of 
the hottest fight with Indians or desperadoes. They 
seemed to take as much interest in such an engage- 
ment as the rangers themselves. 

These little pack animals had as much curiosity 
as a child or a pet coon. In traveling along a road 
they sometimes met a bunch of horses or several 



campers along the highway. Immediately they 
would run over for a brief visit with the strangers 
and when the rangers had gone on a thousand yards 
or more would scamper up to us as fast as they 
could run. Later, when the rangers drew in from 
the frontier and scouted in a more thickly settled 
country the mules with their packs would march 
right up to strange horses and frighten them out 
of their wits. Once, in Austin, one of our mules 
calmly trotted up to a mule that was pulling a street 
car. As the pack burro would not give right of 
way the street car mule shied to one side and pulled 
its conveyance completely off the track to the sur- 
prise of its driver. The tiny animals pulled off 
several stunts like this and caused so much com- 
plaint that Adjutant-General Jones issued an order 
for all rangers to catch and lead their pack mules 
when passing through a town. 

As soon as we were located in the new camp, Pri- 
vates Nevill, Bell and Seiker obtained permission 
from Captain Roberts to visit Austin to buy a case 
of ten Winchesters. Up to this time the company 
was armed with a .50 caliber Sharps carbine. These 
guns would heat easily and thus were very inaccu- 
rate shooters. The state furnished this weapon to 
its rangers at a cost of $17.50, and at that time fur- 
nished no other class of gun. The new center fire 



1873 model Winchester had just appeared on the 
market and sold at $50 for the rifle and $40 for the 
carbine. A ranger who wanted a Winchester had 
to pay for it out of his own pocket and supply his 
own ammunition as well, for the State of Texas 
only furnished cartridges for the Sharps gun. How- 
ever, ten men in Company "D," myself included, 
were willing to pay the price to have a superior 
arm. I got carbine number 13,401, and for the 
next six years of my ranger career I never used 
any other weapon. I have killed almost every kind 
of game that is found in Texas, from the biggest 
old bull buffalo to a fox squirrel with this little 
.44 Winchester. Today I still preserve it as a prized 
memento of the past. 

The boys were all anxious to try their new guns, 
and as Christmas approached we decided to have a 
real Yule-tide dinner. Ed Seiker and myself visited 
a big turkey roost on the head of Elm Creek and 
killed seven big wild turkeys, and on our return 
Seiker bagged a fine buck deer. J. W. Bell hunted 
on the San Saba and brought in six or eight wild 
geese and about a dozen mallard ducks. Donley, 
the baker, cooked up the pies, while Mrs. Roberts, 
wife of the captain, furnished the fruit-cake. Some 
of the boys made egg-nog, and altogether we had 
the finest Christmas dinner that ever graced the 



boards of a ranger camp. The little frontier vil- 
lage of Menardville was not far away, and most 
of the rangers visited it during Christmas week 
for the dancing. Jack Martin once remarked to 
Mrs. Roberts that there was very little society about 
a ranger camp. She told the joke on him and there- 
after as long as he lived he was known as "Society 

During the winter we laid out a race course and 
had much sport with our horses. But there was 
work as well as play that winter. Though Captain 
Roberts kept scouts in the field during the entire 
winter they never discovered any Indian trails. The 
rangers had not yet turned their attention to out- 
laws, so we were not burdened with chained pris- 
oners as we were in after years. This winter camp 
on the San Saba was the most pleasant time in my 
service with the rangers. 

The first week in April, 1876, we moved out of 
our winter quarters to a camp some six or seven 
miles above Menardville and located in a pecan 
grove on the banks of the San Saba. We were all 
glad to get into our tents again after four months 
spent in log cabins. I remember our first night at 
the new camp. The boys set out some hooks and 
caught four or five big yellow catfish weighing 



twenty-five or thirty pounds each — enough fish to 
last the twenty men several days. 

As the spring opened, Captain Roberts began 
sending out scouts to cut signs for Indians. I re- 
member I was detailed on a scout that was com- 
manded by a non-commissioned officer. We were 
ordered to scout as far north as the union of the 
Concho and Colorado Rivers. After crossing the 
Brady Mountains we struck a trail of Indians going 
out. The redskins had probably been raiding in 
San Saba or McCulloch Counties. Their trail led 
west as straight to San Angelo as a bird could fly. 
Though the Indians were not numerous and had 
only a few horses, the trail was easily followed. As 
well as we could judge the redskins had passed on 
a few days before we discovered their sign. We 
found where they had stolen some horses, for we 
picked up several pairs of hobbles that had been 
cut in two and left where they got the horses. At 
that time there were several big cattle ranches in 
the Fort Concho country, and in going to and from 
water the cattle entirely obliterated the trail. We 
worked hard two days trying to find it and then 
gave up the hunt. We needed the genius of Cap- 
tain Roberts to help us out that time. 

On June 1, 1876, the company was increased to 
forty men. Some of the boys that had quit at 



Mason the fall before now re-entered the service. 
Especially do I remember that "Mage" Reynolds 
enlisted with Company "D" once more. 

During the summer of 1876, Major Jones planned 
a big scout out on the Pecos to strike the Lipans 
and Kickapoos a blow before they began raiding 
the white settlements. This scout started from 
Company "D" in July. The major drafted about 
twenty men from my company, his whole escort 
Company "A" of thirty men and marched into Kerr 
County. Here he drafted part of Captain ColdwelPs 
Company "F," making his force total about seventy 
men with three wagons and about twenty pack 

The column traveled down the Nueces, then by 
Fort Clark up the Devil's River to Beaver Lake. 
Here Captain Ira Long with twenty men and the 
wagon train was sent up the San Antonio and El 
Paso road to old Fort Lancaster on the Pecos, 
where he was to await the arrival of Major Jones 
with the main force. 

From Beaver Lake, the major with fifty men and 
the twenty pack mules turned southwest and trav- 
eled down Johnston's Run to the Shafer Crossing 
on the Pecos. From this crossing we scouted up 
the Pecos to the mouth of Independence Creek. The 
country through this section was very rough but 



very beautiful. We saw several old abandoned In- 
dian camps, especially at the mouth of the creek. 
Here we found the pits and the scaffolds upon which 
the redskins had dried their meat, also evidence 
that many deer hide had been dressed and made 
into buckskin. Bows and arrows had also been 
manufactured in these camps. From this section 
the Indians had been gone probably a month or 

After ten days of scouting we joined Captain Long 
at Fort Lancaster and marched up Live Oak Creek 
to its head. Here we prepared to cross that big 
stretch of table land between the Pecos and the 
head waters of the South Concho. We filled what 
barrels we had with water, topped out from the 
creek — and made about ten miles into the plains 
by night and made a dry camp. We got an early 
start next day and traveled until night without find- 
ing water. The stock suffered greatly from thirst 
and the men had only a little water in their can- 
teens. All the land ponds had been dry two weeks 
or more, and I saw twelve head of buffalo that had 
bogged and died in one of them. Here we found 
an old abandoned Indian camp, where the redskins 
had dressed many antelope hides. At one old bent 
mesquite tree the antelope hair was a foot deep, 
with thirty or forty skulls scattered about. 



By the second morning both men and horses were 
suffering a great deal from thirst, and Major Jones 
gave orders to begin march at 4 a. m. We got away 
on time and reached water on the South Concho 
at 2 p. m., the third day out from Live Oak Creek. 
As soon as we got near the water we found a num- 
ber of straggling buffalo, and killed two, thus se- 
curing a supply of fresh meat. We camped two 
days at this water and then marched back to Com- 
pany "D" by easy stages. Here Major Jones turned 
back up the line with his escort after being out on 
this scout about a month. 

On his return toward the Rio Grande, Major Jones 
reached Company "D" the last week in August and 
camped with us until September 1st, the end of the 
fiscal year for the rangers. On this date many 
men would quit service to retire to private life, 
while some would join other companies and new 
recruits be sworn into the service. This reorgani- 
zation usually required two or three days. 

Nearly every ranger in the battalion was anxious 
to be at some time a member of Major Jones' 
escort company. The escort company was not as- 
signed a stationary post nor did it endeavor to cover 
a given strip of territory. Its most important duty 
was to escort the major on his periodic journeys of 
inspection to the other companies along the line. 



The escort always wintered in the south and made 
about four yearly tours of the frontier from com- 
pany to company, taking part in such scouts as the 
major might select and being assigned to such 
extraordinary duty as might arise. In 1874, when 
the Frontier Battalion was first formed, Major Jones 
recruited his escort from a detail of five men from 
each of the other companies. However, in practice, 
this led to some confusion and envy in the com- 
mands, so Major Jones found it expedient to have 
a regular escort company, so he selected Company 
"A" for that purpose. This remained his escort 
until he was promoted to Adjutant-General. 

In September, 1876, there were several vacancies 
in Major Jones' escort, and several old Company 
"D" boys, among them "Mage" Reynolds, Charles 
Nevill, Jack Martin, Bill Clements, and Tom Gil- 
lespie, wished to enlist in Company "A." They 
wanted me to go with them, but I hesitated to leave 
Captain Roberts. My friends then explained that 
we could see a lot more country on the escort than 
we could in a stationary company; that we would 
probably be stationed down on the Rio Grande that 
winter, and going up the line in the spring would 
see thousands of buffalo. This buffalo proposition 
caught me, and I went with the boys. After fifteen 



months' ranging with Captain Roberts I now joined 
Company "A." 

Early in September Major Jones marched his 
escort down to within five or six miles of San 
Antonio and camped us on the Salado while he 
went in to Austin. By the first of October he was 
back in camp and started up the line on his last 
visit to the different companies before winter set in. 

At that time Major John B. Jones was a small 
man, probably not more than five feet seven inches 
tall and weighed about one hundred and twenty- 
five pounds. He had very dark hair and eyes and 
a heavy dark moustache. He was quick in action, 
though small in stature, and was an excellent horse- 
man, riding very erect in the saddle. 

The major was born in Fairfield District, South 
Carolina, in 1834, but emigrated to Texas with his 
father when he was only four years old. He was 
prominent in Texas state affairs from a very early 
age and served gallantly with the Confederate Army 
during the Civil War. On the accession of Gov- 
ernor Coke in 1874 he was appointed to command 
the Frontier Battalion of six companies of Texas 
Rangers. From his appointment until his death in 
Austin in 1881, Major Jones was constantly engaged 
in repulsing bloody raids of Indians, rounding up 
outlaws and making Texas secure and safe for the 



industrious and peaceful citizen. In this work his 
wonderful tact, judgment, coolness and courage 
found ample scope. 

From the organization of the battalion in 1874 
until Major Jones was made Adjutant-General, Dr. 
Nicholson was always with him. The doctor was 
a quaint old bachelor who loved his toddy. The 
boys would sometimes get him as full as a goose, 
and the major would give the doctor some vicious 
looks at such times. Dr. Nicholson was a great 
favorite with all the men, and it is said he knew 
every good place for buttermilk, butter, milk, and 
eggs from Rio Grande City to Red River, a trifling 
distance of eight hundred miles. The doctor always 
messed with Major Jones, and, mounted on a fine 
horse, traveled by his side. I don't think Dr. Nich- 
olson ever issued a handful of pills to the boys dur- 
ing the year — he was just with us in case he was 
needed. When the escort was disbanded he retired 
to private life at Del Rio, Texas, and finally died 

This inspection tour was a wonderful experience 
for me. The weather was cool and bracing, and 
the horses had had a month's rest. We had with 
us a quartet of musicians, among them a violinist, 
a guitar player and a banjo picker, and after the 
day's march the players would often gather around 



the camp fire and give us a concert. The major 
would frequently walk down and listen to the music. 
Nor was music our only amusement. Major Jones 
had provided his escort with a fish seine, and when 
we were camped on a big creek or river the boys 
would unroll the net, make a haul and sometimes 
catch enough fish to supply the thirty men several 

When recruited to its full strength Company 
"A" consisted of a captain, orderly sergeant, second 
sergeant, first and second corporals, and twenty-six 
privates. Two four-mule wagons hauled the camp 
equipage, rations for the men and grain for the 
horses. One light wagon drawn by two mules and 
driven by George, the negro cook, carried the mess 
outfit, bedding, tent, etc., of Major Jones and Dr. 

Each morning at roll call the orderly sergeant 
detailed a guard of nine men and one non-commis- 
sioned officer to guard for twenty-four hours. 
When ready to begin our day's journey the com- 
pany was formed in line and the men counted off 
by fours. On the march Major Jones and Dr. Nich- 
olson rode in front, followed by the captain of the 
company, the orderly sergeant and the men in 
double file. Following these came the wagons. An 
advance guard of two men preceded the column 



about one-half mile. Four men, known as flankers, 
two on each side of the company, paralleled the 
column at a distance of one-half to one mile, de- 
pending on the nature of the country. In a rough, 
wooded section the flankers traveled close in, bul 
in an open country they sometimes spread out quite 
a distance. The non-commissioned officer with the 
remaining guard covered the rear and brought lip 
the pack mules. Thus protected it was almost im- 
possible for the command to be surprised by In- 

At one time Major Jones had with him two Ton- 
kawa Indians as guides. For protection this tribe 
lived near Fort Griffin, a large military post. One 
of these old braves known as Jim had been given 
an old worn out army coat with the shoulder straps 
of a general upon it. Jim wore this coat tightly 
buttoned up and marched at the head of the column 
with as much dignity and importance as a general- 
in-chief. His companion wore a high crowned 
beaver stove-pipe hat with the top gone, and car- 
ried an old umbrella that someone had given him 
Fitted out in this ridiculous and unique manner he 
marched for days with the umbrella over him 
Think of an Indian shading himself from the sun 

Major Jones never paid much attention to thes< 
Indians unless he wished to inquire the lay of th< 



country or the distance to some water hole. They 
did pretty much as they pleased, sometimes riding 
in front with the major, sometimes with the guard 
and at others with the men. These old redskins 
were a constant source of amusement to the boys. 
Jim and his pal were good hunters but as lazy as 
could be. They got into the habit of killing a buf- 
falo late in the evening when they knew it was 
almost time to pitch camp, cutting out just enough 
meat for themselves and letting the remainder 
go to waste. The major told these lazy-bones when 
they killed a buffalo he wanted to know of it so 
he could secure the meat for the company. The 
Tonks paid no attention to this request and late 
one evening came into camp with five or six pounds 
of buffalo meat. 

The orderly sergeant spied them, so he walked 
over to Major Jones and said, "Major, those two 
old Tonka was are back in camp with just enough 
meat for themselves." 

"Sergeant, you get a pack mule, take a file of 
men with you and make those Indians saddle their 
horses and go with you to get that buffalo," the 
major commanded, determined that his order 
should be obeyed by the Indians. 

The sergeant went to the Indians, who were busy 
about the fire roasting their meat, and told them 



what the major had said. Jim declared that he 
was tired and did not wish to go. The non-com- 
missioned officer replied that that made no differ- 
ence and commanded him and his pal to get their 
ponies and lead the way to the dead buffalo. 

"Maybe so ten miles to buffalo," protested Jim, 
trying to avoid going. 

The sergeant knew they were lying, for of all the 
Indians that ever inhabited Texas the Tonkawas 
were the biggest cowards. Just mention the Co- 
manches or Kiowas to them and they would have 
a chill. It was well known that the Tonks would 
not venture very far away from the protection of 
the rangers for fear of being killed by their enemies. 
As soon as they knew they had to do as ordered, 
they mounted their ponies and led the sergeant 
over a little hill, and in a valley not more than half 
a mile from camp, was the fine, fat buffalo the 
Indians had killed. The animal was soon skinned 
and brought into camp, where all had plenty of 
fresh meat. 

These Tonks were as simple as children and as 
suspicious as negroes. The weather had been hot 
and dry for several days. Old Jim thereupon killed 
some hawks with his bow and arrows, plaited the 
long tail and wing feathers into his pony's mane 
and tail, and said it would make "heap rain." Sure 



enough, in three or four days a hard thunder shower 
came up and thoroughly wet everybody on the 
march. Jim, with only his old officer's coat for 
protection, was drenched to the skin, and his pony 
looked like a drowned rat. The wood, grass, every- 
thing was wet. Jim stood by, shivering with 
the cold and watched the boys use up almost their 
last match trying to make a fire. Suddenly, with 
a look of disgust, he ran up to his horse, which was 
standing near, and plucked every hawk feather out 
of the animal's tail and mane and, throwing them 
on the ground, stamped upon them violently as if 
that would stop the rain. 

After the escort had crossed the Colorado River 
on its way northward we found an advance guard 
of buffalo on its way south, and it was an easy 
matter to keep the company in fresh meat. We 
spent about one week with Company "B" on the 
upper Brazos, then turned south again to make our 
winter camp near Old Frio Town in Frio County. 
It was November now and freezing hard every 

The last guard would call the camp early, so we 
generally had breakfast and were ready to move 
southward by daylight. We did not stop a single 
time for dinner on this return trip, just traveled at 
a steady gait all day long without dinner until 



nearly night. We all wondered why we marched 
the live-long day v/ithout dinner, but it was not 
until many years afterward when I became a Mason 
that I learned the reason for our forced marches. 
Major Jones was in line to be made Most Worship- 
ful Grand Master of Masons in Texas and he had to 
be in Houston on the first Tuesday in December for 
the annual meeting of the Most Worshipful Grand 
Lodge of Texas. If there were other Masons in 
the company besides Major Jones I never knew it. 

At this time we had for commander of the escort, 
Lieutenant Benton. He was in bad health and rode 
most of the way back in one of the wagons. On 
arriving at the end of the line he tendered his resig- 
nation and was succeeded by Captain Neal Cold- 
well. The company camped for the winter on Elm 
Creek, three miles southwest of Old Frio Town. 

Captain Neal Coldwell was born in Dade County, 
Missouri, in May, 1844, and served gallantly 
throughout the Civil War in the Thirty-second Reg- 
iment, Texas Cavalry, commanded by Col. W. P. 
Woods. At the organization of the Frontier Bat- 
talion in 1874, Neal Coldwell was commissioned 
captain of Company "F." 

It is difficult, in a single sketch, to do Captain 
Coldwell justice or convey any correct idea of what 
he accomplished as a Texas Ranger. The station 



of Company "F," the southernmost company of the 
line, was the most unfavorable that could well be 
given him. His scouting grounds were the head 
of the Guadalupe, Nueces, Llanos, and Devil's 
Rivers — the roughest and most difficult part of 
South Texas in which to pursue Indians, yet he held 
them in check and finally drove them out of that 
part of the state. 




By the end of the year 1876 the Indians had been 
pretty well pushed back off the frontier, so that 
there were very few fights with the redskins after 
1877. From the spring of 1877 onward the rangers 
were transformed into what might properly be 
called mounted state police, and accordingly turned 
their attention to ridding the frontier of the outlaws 
that infested nearly every part of Texas. During 
the winter of 1876-77 Captain Neal Coldwell broke 
up a band of thieves that was operating in the north- 
western part of Atascosa County. I remember 
helping him capture a man named Wolf. He was 
wanted for murder, and we made several scouts 
after him before we succeeded in landing him safely 
in irons. 

In April, 1877, Major Jones reached ColdwelPs 
company and at once made arrangements to march 
up the line on a visit of inspection. When the 
major reached the headwaters of the South Llano 
River he halted his escort and detailed several small 
scouting parties of five or six men, each with or- 
ders to arrest every man that could not give a good 
account of himself. One scout was sent down the 


ofa—c~c -6m^l^j2jl. 


South Llano, a second down Johnson's Fork, while 
a third was ordered over the divide with instruc- 
tions to hit the head of the North Llano and sweep 
down that river, — all three parties to rejoin Major 
Jones and the main escort near where Junction 
City now stands. In these outlaw raids some fifty 
or sixty men were arrested and brought in. Many 
of the suspects were released upon examination, 
but I remember one scout brought in two escaped 
convicts who had been captured up on Copperas 
Creek. We bagged several men wanted for mur- 
der and some horse and cattle thieves. Old Kimble 
County never had such a clean-up of bandits in her 

While these prisoners were being held in camp 
other scouts were sent out in the northern part of 
the county with orders to sweep Bear Creek, Gen- 
try, Red Creek, Big and Little Saline, to cross the 
San Saba River in Menard County and sweep up 
that stream from old Peg Leg Station to Menard. 
Many more suspects were caught in this haul. 

With a party of scouts I was detailed on a mis- 
sion to Fort McKavett, at that time one of the big 
military posts on the frontier. Many hard char- 
acters and gamblers gathered about these posts to 
fleece the soldiers out of their easy-made money. 
We made several arrests here, and camped for noon 



one mile below the government post on the San 
Saba River. During the dinner hour my horse, a 
gray, in lying down to wallow, rolled on some 
broken beer bottles and cut his back so badly that 
he was unfit for use for some time. When the 
escort moved north I was left with old Company 
"D" until the return of Company "A" on its return 
march some six weeks later. I thereby missed 
some of the exciting scouts that took place on the 
march north. 

When Major Jones reached Coleman City he 
found orders from Governor Coke to send a scout 
of rangers to Lampasas County to help the civil 
authorities suppress a war known as the Horrell- 
Higgins feud. Second Sergeant N. O. Reynolds was 
detached from Company "A" and with ten men 
ordered to proceed to Lampasas and report to the 
sheriff of that county. 

After leaving Coleman, Major Jones visited the 
northernmost ranger company and began his re- 
turn march. This was to be his last trip with his 
escort, for immediately upon his return to Austin 
he was commissioned Adjutant-General of Texas. 
As there was no longer a major of the battalion, 
there was no need of an escort, so old Company 
"A" took its place on the line as a stationary com- 
pany. Captain Neal Coldwell was ultimately made 



quartermaster of the battalion, and I believe ranked 
as major. 

I was picked up at Company "D" by the escort 
on their return march and was with Company "A" 
when it was made a stationary command and 
located in Frio County. 

In the latter part of 1877 — during the late sum- 
mer — a party of filibusters under command of a 
Mexican general named Winkler assembled in Mav- 
erick County, near Eagle Pass, and prepared to in- 
vade Mexico. Captain Coldwell, then commanding 
Company "A," was ordered to the Rio Grande to 
break up the expedition. This he did by arresting 
more than fifty participants. I was with him on 
this expedition and saw much border service dur- 
ing this summer. 

I remember a scout I was called upon to make 
with Captain Coldwell over in Bandera County. 
The captain took with him John Parker, Hawk 
Roberts, and myself. In one week's time we caught 
some ten or twelve fugitives from justice and lit- 
erally filled the little old jail at Bandera. Captain 
Coldwell detailed Hawk Roberts and myself to cap- 
ture an especially bad man wanted in Burnet 
County for murder. The captain warned us to take 
no chances with this man — that meant to kill him 
if he hesitated about surrendering. I can't remem- 



ber this murderer's name at this late date, but I 
recall perfectly the details of his capture. Sheriff 
Jack Hamilton of Bandera County sent a guide to 
show us where this fugitive lived. The guide led 
us some fifteen miles northwest of Bandera and 
finally pointed out the house in which the murderer 
was supposed to be. He then refused to go any 
farther, saying he did not want any of this man's 
game, for the fellow had just stood off a deputy 
sheriff and made him hike it back to Bandera. 

It was almost night when we reached the house, 
so Roberts and I decided to wait until morning be- 
fore attempting the arrest. We staked our horses, 
lay down on our saddle blankets without supper, 
and slept soundly till dawn. As soon as it was day- 
light we rode over near the house, dismounted, 
slipped up, and, unannounced, stepped right inside 
the room. The man we wanted was sleeping on a 
pallet with a big white-handled .45 near his head. 
Hawk Roberts kicked the pistol out of the man's 
reach. The noise awakened the sleeper and he 
opened his eyes to find himself looking into the 
business ends of two Winchesters held within a foot 
of his head. Of course he surrendered without 
fight. His wife, who was sleeping in a bed in the 
same room, jumped out of it and heaped all kinds 
of abuse on us for entering her home without cere- 



mony. She was especially bitter against Sheriff 
Hamilton, who, she said, had promised to notify 
her husband when he was wanted so he could come 
in and give himself up. She indignantly advised 
her husband to give old Sheriff Hamilton a d — d 
good whipping the first chance he had. 

While Company "A" was rounding up outlaws 
along the border, Sergeant Reynolds was covering 
himself with glory in the north. Upon reaching 
Lampasas and reporting to the sheriff as ordered 
by Major Jones, the sergeant was told that the 
Horrell boys were living on the Sulphur Fork of 
the Lampasas River and were defying the authori- 
ties to arrest them. 

The Horrells were native Texans and had been 
raised on the frontier. These brothers, of which 
five were involved in the feud (the sixth, John 
Horrell, had been killed at Las Cruces, New Mexico, 
previously) were expert riders, and, having grown 
up with firearms in their hands, were as quick as 
chained lightning with either Winchester or pistol. 
Sam Horrell, the eldest, was married and had a 
large family of children. He was a farmer and 
lived a quiet life over on the Lampasas River. The 
other four boys, Mart, Tom, Merritt, and Ben, were 
all cattlemen. They stood well in the community, 
but were considered dangerous when aroused. 



At this time Lampasas was a frontier town and 
wide open as far as saloons and gambling were con- 
cerned. The Horrells, like most cattlemen of the 
period, loved to congregate in town, go to the sa- 
loons and have a good time, perhaps drink too 
much and sometimes at night shoot up the town 
for fun, as they termed it. Some of the more pious 
and more settled citizens of the town did not ap- 
prove of these night brawls, and called upon Gov- 
ernor Edmund J. Davis, Provisional Governor in 
1873, to give them protection. Governor Davis had 
formed in Texas a State Police. Naturally they 
were rank Republicans, and many of them were 
termed carpetbaggers. This body was never pop- 
ular in Texas, especially as many of the force were 

In answer to the call of the citizens, Governor 
Davis dispatched Captain Williams with three white 
men and one negro to Lampasas. On the way up 
Captain Williams met several freighters going to 
Austin and stopped one of them, Tedford Rean, to 
ask the distance to Lampasas. The captain had 
been drinking, and he told Mr. Rean he was going 
to town to clean up those damn Horrell boys. 

The little squad of police reached Lampasas about 
3 p. m., hitched its horses to some live oak trees 
on the public plaza, left the negro to guard them, 



and then made a bee line to Jerry Scott's saloon 
on the west side of the square. Mart, Tom, and 
Merritt Horrell, with some ten or fifteen cow men, 
were in the saloon drinking, playing billiards and 
having a good time generally. One man was pick- 
ing a banjo and another playing a fiddle. Captain 
Williams, an exceedingly brave but unwise man, 
took in the situation at a glance as he walked up 
to the bar and called for drinks. 

He turned to Bill Bowen, a brother-in-law to 
Merritt Horrell, and said, "I believe you have a six- 
shooter. I arrest you. 57 

"Bill, you have done nothing and need not be 
arrested if you don't want to," interrupted Mart 

Like a flash of lightning Captain Williams pulled 
his pistol and fired on Mart Horrell, wounding him 
badly. The Horrell boys drew their guns and be- 
gan to fight. Captain Williams and one of his men, 
Dr. Daniels, were shot down in the saloon. William 
Cherry was killed just outside the door, and Andrew 
Melville was fatally wounded as he was trying to 
escape. He reached the old Huling Hotel, where 
he died later. At the first crack of a pistol the 
negro police mounted his horse and made a John 
Gilpin ride for Austin. Thus, within the twinkling 



of an eye, four state police were killed and only 
one of the Horrells wounded. 

Tom and Merritt Horrell carried the wounded 
Mart to their mother's home, some two hundred 
yards from Scott's saloon, then mounted their 
horses and rode away. Great excitement prevailed 
in the town. The state militia was called out, and 
Governor Davis hurried other state police to Lam- 
pasas. They scoured the country for the Horrell 
boys, but to no avail. 

Mart Horrell and Jerry Scott were arrested and 
carried to Georgetown, Williamson County, and 
placed in jail. Mart Horrell's wife went to the jail 
to nurse her husband and, of course, kept her 
brothers-in-law informed as to Mart's condition. 
As soon as he was well the Horrell boys made up 
a party and rode to Williamson County and as- 
saulted the jail at night. The citizens and officers 
of Georgetown, taken unawares, put up a stiff fight, 
but the Horrells had ten or fifteen well organized 
and armed men with them. They took stations at 
all approaches to the jail and kept up a steady fire 
with their Winchesters at anyone who showed up 
to oppose them. Mr. A. S. Fisher, a prominent 
lawyer of the town, took an active hand in the fight 
and was badly wounded. Bill Bowen was slightly 
hurt while battering in the jail door with a sledge 



hammer. Mart Horrell and Jerry Scott were lib- 
erated and rode off with their rescuers. 

By the next evening the Horrells were back on 
Lucies Creek. They at once made arrangements to 
leave the country and go to New Mexico. They 
had gathered about them Bill and Tom Bowen, 
John Dixon, Ben Turner, and six or eight other 
men as desperate and dangerous as themselves. 
They were so formidable that they no longer at- 
tempted to hide but openly and without hindrance 
gathered their cattle, sold the remnant to Cooksey 
and Clayton to be delivered to them in Coleman 
County. They even notified the sheriff of Lam- 
pasas County just what day they would pass with 
their herd through Russell Gap, but they were not 

As a cowboy I had worked for Cooksey and Clay- 
ton, and was with them when they delivered cattle 
to the Horrell boys on Home Creek, Coleman 
County. I had dinner in camp with the outlaws 
and they made no effort to hide from the authori- 
ties. I remember they sat about their camps with 
Winchesters across their laps. 

When all was ready the Horrells moved slowly 
out of the country with their families and cattle 
and finally reached New Mexico, settling on the 
head of the Hondo River in Lincoln County. They 



had not been at their new home many months be- 
fore Ben Horrell was shot and killed at a fandango 
near old Fort Stanton. Ben's brothers at once re- 
paired to the dance hall and killed eight Mexicans 
and one woman. 

This brought on a war between the Horrell boys 
and the Mexican population along the Hondo River, 
and it is said that in the fights that followed thirty 
or forty Mexicans were killed between Fort Stanton 
and Roswell. In one of those pitched battles Ben 
Turner was killed. Turner was prominent in all 
of the fights staged by the Horrells, was with them 
when Captain Williams was killed and was one of 
the assaulting party on the Georgetown jail. His 
death was keenly felt by his companions. 

Having now outlawed themselves in New Mexico, 
the Horrells could no longer stay in that country. 
They turned back to Texas, and next year showed 
up at their old haunts in Lampasas County. The 
shock of the Civil War was beginning to subside 
and the State of Texas was then under civil govern- 
ment with a Democratic governor in office. The 
friends of the Horrells advised them to surrender 
to the authorities and be tried for the killing of 
Captain Williams and his men. They were assured 
a fair trial by the best citizens of Lampasas County. 



Accordingly, the Horrells gave up, and upon trial 
were acquitted of the charges against them. 

The Horrells had not long been at ease before 
Merritt, the youngest of the brothers, was accused 
by Pink Higgins of unlawfully handling his cattle. 
Shortly afterward, while Merritt was seated un- 
armed in a chair in the old Jerry Scott saloon, Pink 
Higgins stepped to the back door of the place and 
shot him to death. Thus Merritt met his death in 
the same saloon where four years before he had 
been a party to the killing of Captain Williams. At 
this time Mart and Tom Horrell were living down 
on Sulphur Fork of Lampasas River. The news 
of their brother's death was quickly carried to them. 
They armed themselves and started in a run for 

This move had been anticipated by the Pink Hig- 
gins party. They waylaid the Horrell boys outside 
the town and at their first fire killed Tom Horrell's 
horse and badly wounded Mart. Tom advanced 
single handed on the attackers and put them to 
flight. He then partly supported and partly car- 
ried his brother to the home of Mr. Tinnins, a 
neighbor, where a doctor was hurried to the 
wounded man. 

Thus old Lampasas County was again the scene 
of war with Mart, Tom and Sam Horrell, Bill and 



Tom Bowen, John Dixon and Bill Crabtree on one 
side and Pink Higgins, Bob Mitchell and their 
friends on the other. These two factions met in 
the town of Lampasas and a furious battle fol- 
lowed. A man was killed on each side and the 
population greatly endangered. Hence the gov- 
ernor's order to Major Jones to send rangers to 
the aid of the officers at Lampasas. 

When Sergeant N. O. Reynolds reported to the 
sheriff of Lampasas he was informed that the Hor- 
rell boys were living ten miles east of Lampasas 
and had ten or twelve desperate men with them, 
so that it meant certain death to anyone making 
an attempt to capture them. 

"But, Mr. Sheriff, I am sent here to effect the 
capture of all offenders against the law, and it is 
my duty to at least make the attempt," replied the 
brave Reynolds. 

"These men have never been arrested," declared 
Sheriff Sweet, "and it is my honest opinion they 
cannot be." 

Reynolds then asked if the sheriff would send a 
guide to show him where the Horrells lived. The 
rangers under the intrepid Reynolds left Lampasas 
late in the night and finally the guide pointed at a 
flickering light about a mile off. 



"There is where the Horrell boys live. I am 
going back to town," he said. 

When asked if he would not accompany the 
rangers to the house, the guide replied, "No, not 
for a million dollars!" 

With that he turned his horse and rode away. 

Reynolds thought it would be best to wait until 
daylight before attempting the arrest. He planned 
to surprise the outlaws, if such a thing were pos- 
sible, but if the rangers were discovered and an 
engagement came on they were to fight to the last 
man. As soon as dawn broke the rangers wended 
their way on foot to the Horrell brothers' ranch. 
It was a moment of great anxiety as they ap- 
proached the house, but not a sound was heard, 
not a dog barked. 

Sergeant Reynolds and his men tiptoed right into 
the room in which the Horrells were sleeping. 
Some of the men were on pallets on the floor, while 
others slept in beds in the one big room. Each 
ranger pointed a cocked Winchester at the head 
of a sleeper. Reynolds then spoke to Mart Horrell. 
At the sound of his voice every man sat up in bed 
and found himself looking into the muzzle of a 
gun. The sergeant quickly explained that he was 
a ranger and had come to arrest them. Mart re- 
plied they could not surrender, and Tom Horrell 



said it would be better to die fighting than to be 

This gave Reynolds his cue. He warned the out- 
laws that if anything was started there would be 
a dozen dead men in that house in one minute and 
advised them to listen to what he had to say. He 
then guaranteed the Horrells upon his honor that 
he would not turn them over to the sheriff to be 
put in jail and mobbed, but promised he would 
guard them in his camp until they could secure a 
preliminary examination and give bond. 

"Boys, this seems reasonable," said Mart Horrell, 
rising to his feet. "I believe these rangers can be 
relied upon to protect us. Besides this fight has 
been thrust upon us. If we can get a hearing we 
can give bond." 

They all agreed finally to this proposition of Ser- 
geant Reynolds and laid down their arms, mounted 
their horses and under guard of the rangers were 
marched into the town of Lampasas. 

The news of the capture of the Horrells spread 
like wildfire through the town and county. Hun- 
dreds of people flocked to Lampasas to see Ser- 
geant Reynolds, the man that had accomplished the 
impossible in rounding up the most desperate band 
of men that ever lived. The news was rushed to 
Austin, and General Jones himself hurried to the 



scene. This act of Sergeant Reynolds covered him 
with glory and brought to his name imperishable 
renown. He was at once commissioned First Lieu- 
tenant, commanding Company "E." 

The Horrell boys were admitted to bond after a 
preliminary hearing. After their release Mart Hor- 
rell came to Lieutenant Reynolds and f eelingly 
thanked him for carrying out his promise. With 
tears streaming down his face he grasped the lieu- 
tenant's hand and said, "You are undoubtedly the 
bravest man in the world today." These unfortu- 
nate men were later shot to death in the Meridian 
jail. The Higgins and Mitchell parties surrendered 
to the authorities. Pink Higgins was tried and ac- 
quitted of the murder of Merritt Horrell. This 
ended the feud, but it started Lieutenant Reynolds 
on a new and important phase of his career as a 




As soon as Sergeant Reynolds was commissioned 
first lieutenant he was placed in command of Com- 
pany "E," then stationed in Coleman County, but 
immediately ordered to Lampasas. At this time 
Captain Sparks resigned the command of Company 
"C," and this company was also ordered to report 
to Lieutenant Reynolds at the same town. Late in 
August the two commands went into camp at Han 
cock Springs. Major Jones then authorized Lieu- 
tenant Reynolds to pick such men as he desired 
from these two companies for his own company 
and either discharge or transfer the remainder to 
other commands. No other officer in the battalion, 
I believe, was ever accorded this privilege. 

Lieutenant Reynolds had a week or ten days in 
which to make his selection, so he studied the mus- 
ter rolls of the companies carefully. He had ranged 
under such great captains as Perry, D. W. Roberts, 
Neal Coldwell, and with Major Jones himself. He 
knew what qualities were needed in a good ranger 
and made his selections accordingly. From old 
Company "A" Reynolds selected C. L. Nevill, Tom 
Gillespie, Shape Rodgers, Jack Martin, John Gibbs, 



• • . . 




W. T. Clements, and four others whose names I do 
not now remember. These were the scouts that 
had helped him capture the Horrells and naturally 
were his first choice. From Company "E" came 
Dick Ware, who one year later killed the noted train 
robBer, Sam Bass, then served Mitchell County as 
its first sheriff for many years, and finally became 
United States marshal for the Western District of 
Texas under President Cleveland's administration. 
Henry Thomas, Miller Mourland, George Arnett, 
and other Company "E" boys were selected. Henry 
Maltimore, Ben and Dock Carter, Bill Derrick, Chris 
Connor, Henry McGee, Abe Anglin, J. W. Warren, 
Dave Ligon, Lowe Hughes, George (Hog) Hughes, 
and others were picked from Company "C." 

When he had exhausted the two companies 
Reynolds turned to General Jones and said, "There 
is a ranger down on the Rio Grande in Neal Cold- 
well's company that I want." 

"Who is it?" asked the general. 

"Private Jim Gillett." 

"You shall have him," promised General Jones. 
"I will send an order to Captain Coldwell tonight 
to have Gillett report to you here." 

It was late in the evening when Company "A's" 
mail came in from Frio Town, but Captain Cold- 
well sent for me as soon as General Jones' order 



arrived, and told me that I must leave the company 
next morning and report to the Adjutant-General 
at Austin. I was nonplussed, for I did not know 
what the order meant. Out on the frontier where 
we then were operating we seldom read newspapers 
or heard what the other companies were doing, so 
I did not even know that Reynolds had captured the 
Horrell boys and had been commissioned to com- 
mand Company "E." The following morning I 
bade Captain Coldwell and the Company "A" boys 
goodbye and started on my long ride to Austin. 

As I jogged along I asked myself many hundred 
times why I was ordered to report at Austin, and, 
boy-like, it made me nervous and uneasy. It took 
me two days to reach San Antonio and three more 
to get to Austin. I arrived in the latter town just 
at nightfall, but I was at the Adjutant-General's 
office as soon as it was opened next morning. 

Presently General Jones entered with some of- 
ficers of the State Militia. He shook hands with 
me and invited me to be seated, saying he had some 
business to attend to for the moment. It was prob- 
ably an hour before the officers left and the general 
could turn to me. He very kindly inquired as to 
my trip and asked about Captain Coldwell and the 
company. He then told me about the arrest of the 
Horrell boys and Sergeant Reynolds' commission as 



first lieutenant commanding Company "E," vice 
Lieutenant Foster resigned. He explained Reynolds 
had requested that I be attached to his command, 
and ordered me to report to my new commander 
in Lampasas without delay. 

I excused myself at once and lost no time in get- 
ting my horse out of the livery stable and resuming 
my way. A great load was lifted from my mind, 
and I was about as happy as a boy could be. I sang 
and whistled all the way to Liberty Hill, thirty 
miles from Austin. The following day about 2 p. m. 
I rode into Reynolds' camp at Hancock Springs. 

I attracted some attention as I rode in, for I wore 
a big Mexican hat mounted with silver, a buckskin 
jacket fringed from shoulder to elbow with a bunch 
of flowers braided in highly colored silk on its back. 
On my heels were enormous Mexican spurs. I 
never saw a ranger sent to the Rio Grande for the 
first time that did not rig himself out in some such 
outlandish attire, only to discard it a few weeks 
later, never to wear it again. I was no exception, 
and I think every man in camp tried on my hat. 

Lieutenant Reynolds selected C. L. Nevill for first 
sergeant, Henry W. McGee as second sergeant, and 
J. W. Warren and L. W. Conner, first and second 
corporals, respectively. On September 1, 1877, the 
company was sworn in. The new command was 



the most formidable body of men I had ever seen. 
Our commander, Lieutenant Reynolds, was over six 
feet tall and weighed probably one hundred and 
seventy-five pounds. He was a very handsome man, 
a perfect blond, with steel blue eyes and a long, 
fight moustache. At that time he was about thirty 
years of age, vigorous in mind and body, and had 
a massive determination to succeed as a ranger. 
His mind was original, bold, profound and quick, 
with a will that no obstacle could daunt. He was 
the best ranger in the world — there was never an- 
other like him. The lieutenant was a native of 
Missouri, and was always known as "Major" or 
"Mage" Reynolds. It was said that Reynolds, 
though a mere boy, had served with the Confed- 
erates in the latter part of the Civil War. He was 
one of a party that captured a troop of Federal cav- 
alry, the major of which was well supplied with 
clothing. The captors, however, were very scantily 
clad and Reynolds appropriated the major's uni- 
form, hence his nick-name "Mage." In later years 
when I had grown more intimate with him and was 
probably closer to him than any other I mentioned 
this story. He neither affirmed nor denied it, declar- 
ing he was a Missourian by birth, a bootmaker by 
trade, and that his early history could interest no 



First Sergeant Nevill was six feet and one inch 
in height and weighed one hundred and eighty-five 
pounds. All the non-commissioned officers were at 
least six feet tall and built in proportion, and many 
of the privates were from five feet eleven inches to 
six feet in height. I was probably the lightest man 
in the company, being only five feet nine inches and 
weighing but one hundred and forty pounds. 

When the company's roster was complete Lieu- 
tenant Reynolds had but twenty-eight men, — lack- 
ing two of his full complement of thirty. The com- 
pany was then ordered to Austin, but before being 
assigned to its position on the frontier the lieuten- 
ant enlisted John and Will Bannister, two celebrated 
frontiersmen. They were old cowboys, splendid 
shots, and well acquainted with every part of Kim- 
ble, Menard, Mason, and Kerr Counties, in which 
Company "E" was destined to operate. In appear- 
ance and ability this company compared favorably 
with any thirty rangers ever sent to the Texas fron- 
tier. Nearly every member of the company had 
had more or less experience as an officer, and all 
were exceedingly fine marksmen. Sergeant Henry 
McGee had been marshal of Waco and had figured 
in several pistol duels in that city. Dave Ligon, the 
oldest man in the command, had been a Confederate 



soldier and had served with General Forrest's cav- 

In the summer of 1877, Lieutenant Armstrong of 
Captain Hall's company, assisted by Detective Jack 
Duncan of Dallas, Texas, captured the notorious 
John Wesley Hardin. It has been said that Texas, 
the largest state in the Union, has never produced 
a real world's champion at anything. Surely, such 
critics overlooked Hardin, the champion desperado 
of the world. His life is too well known in Texas 
for me to go into detail, but, according to his own 
story, which I have before me, he killed no fewer 
than twenty-seven men, the last being Charley 
Webb, deputy sheriff of Rrown County, Texas. So 
notorious had Hardin become that the State of 
Texas offered $4000 reward for his capture. Hardin 
had left Texas and at the time of his capture was 
in Florida. His captors arrested and overpowered 
him while he was sitting in a passenger coach. 

In September, 1877, Sheriff Wilson of Comanche 
County, in whose jurisdiction Hardin had killed 
Webb, came to Austin to convey the prisoner to 
Comanche for trial. Wilson requested the governor 
for an escort of rangers. Lieutenant Reynolds' 
company, being in Austin at the time, was ordered 
to accompany Wilson and protect Hardin from mob 



violence. This was the first work assigned Com- 
pany "E" under its new commander. 

The day we left Austin between one and two 
thousand people gathered about the Travis County 
jail to see this notorious desperado. The rangers 
were drawn up just outside the jail, and Henry 
Thomas and myself were ordered to enter the prison 
and escort Hardin out. Heavily shackled and hand- 
cuffed, the prisoner walked very slowly between 
us. The boy that had sold fish on the streets of 
Austin was now guarding the most desperate crim- 
inal in Texas; it was glory enough for me. 

At his trial Hardin was convicted and sentenced 
to twenty-five years in the penitentiary. He al- 
pealed his case and was returned to Travis County 
for safekeeping. The verdict of the trial court was 
sustained, and one year later, in September, 1878, 
Lieutenant Reynolds' company was ordered to take 
Hardin back to Comanche County for sentence. 
There was no railroad at Comanche at that time, 
so a detachment of rangers, myself among them, 
escorted Hardin to the penitentiary. There were 
ten or twelve indictments still pending against him 
for murder in various counties, but they were never 

Hardin served seventeen years on his sentence, 
and while in prison studied law. Governor Hogg 



pardoned him in 1894 and restored him to full citi- 

In transmitting him the governor's pardon, Judge 
W. S. Fly, Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals, 
wrote Hardin as follows: 

Dear Sir: Enclosed I send you a full pardon from 
the Governor of Texas. I congratulate you on its 
reception and trust that it is the day of dawn of a 
bright and peaceful future. There is time to re- 
trieve a lost past. Turn your back upon it with all 
its suffering and sorrow and fix your eyes upon the 
future with the determination to make yourself an 
honorable and useful member of society. The hand 
of every true man will be extended to assist you in 
your upward course, and I trust that the name of 
Hardin will in the future be associated with the per- 
formance of deeds that will ennoble his family and 
be a blessing to humanity. 

Did you ever read Victor Hugo's masterpiece, 
"Les Miserables" ? If not, you ought to read it. 
It paints in graphic words the life of one who had 
tasted the bitterest dregs of life's cup, but in his 
Christian manhood rose about it, almost like a god 
and left behind him a path luminous with good 

With the best wishes for your welfare and hap- 
piness, I am, Yours very truly, 

W. S. Fly. 

' 126 


Despite all the kind advice given him by eminent 
lawyers and citizens, Hardin was unequal to the 
task of becoming a useful man. He practiced law 
for a time in Gonzales, then drifted away to El Paso, 
where he began drinking and gambling. On Au- 
gust 19, 1895, Hardin was standing at a bar shak- 
ing dice when John Selman, constable of Precinct 
No. 1, approached him from behind and, placing a 
pistol to the back of Hardin's head, blew his brains 
out. Though posing as an officer Selman was him- 
self an outlaw and a murderer of the worst kind. 
He killed Hardin for the notoriety it would bring 
him and nothing more. 

After delivering Hardin to the sheriff of Travis 
County in 1877, Lieutenant Reynolds was ordered 
to Kimble County for duty. Of all the counties in 
Texas at that time Kimble was the most popular 
with outlaws and criminals, for it was situated south 
of Menard County on the North and South Llano 
Rivers, with cedar, pecan and mesquite timber in 
which to hide, while the streams and mountains 
furnished abundance of fish and game for sub- 

Up on the South Llano lived old Jimmie Dublin. 
He had a large family of children, most of them 
grown. The eldest of his boys, Dick, or Richard, 
as he was known, and a friend, Ace Lankf ord, killed 



two men at a country store in Lankford's Cove, 
Coryell County, Texas. The state offered $500 for 
the arrest of Dublin and the County of Coryell an 
additional $200. To escape capture Dick and his 
companion fled west into Kimble County. While 
I was working as cowboy with Joe Franks in the 
fall of 1873 I became acquainted with the two mur- 
derers, for they attached themselves to our outfit. 
They were always armed and constantly on *the 
watchout for fear of arrest. Dublin was a large 
man, stout, dark complected, and looked more like 
the bully of a prize ring than the cowman he was. 
I often heard him say he would never surrender. 
While cow hunting with us he discovered that the 
naturally brushy and tangled county of Kimble 
would offer shelter for such as he, and persuaded 
his father to move out into that county. 

Dublin had not lived long in Kimble County be- 
fore another son, Dell Dublin, killed Jim Williams, 
a neighbor. Thus two of the Dublin boys were on 
the dodge charged with murder. They were sup- 
posed to be hiding near their father's home. Bill 
Allison, Starke Reynolds and a number of bandits, 
horse and cattle thieves and murderers, were known 
to be in Kimble County, so Lieutenant Reynolds was 
sent with his company to clean them up. 

It was late in October, 1877, before the company 



reached its destination and camped on the North 
Llano River below the mouth of Bear Creek. As 
soon as our horses had rested and camp was fully 
established for the winter we began scouting. Sev- 
eral men wanted on minor charges were captured. 
We then raided Luke Stone's ranch, which was 
about ten miles from our camp, and captured Dell 
Dublin. He was fearfully angry when he found 
escape impossible. He tore his shirt bosom open 
and dared the rangers to shoot him. While he was 
being disarmed his elder brother, Dick, rode out of 
the brush and came within gun shot of the ranch 
before he discovered the presence of the rangers. 
He turned his horse quickly and made his escape, 
though the rangers pursued him some distance. 
When Dick learned that the Banister boys and my- 
self were with Lieutenant Reynolds' company and 
hot on his trail he declared he would whip us with 
a quirt as a man would a dog if he ever came upon 
us, for he remembered us as beardless boys with 
the Joe Franks' cow outfit. However, despite his 
threat, he never attempted to make it good, but 
took very good care to keep out of our way until 
the fatal January 18, 1878. 

There was no jail in Kimble County, so with a 
detachment of rangers I took Dell Dublin and our 
other prisoners to Llano County lockup. 



Shortly afterward Reynolds selected Sergeant Mc- 
Gee, Tom Gillespie, Dick Harrison, and Tim Mc- 
Carthy and made a scout into Menard County. He 
also had with him his negro cook, George, to drive 
his light wagon. On the return toward Bear Creek 
the scout camped for the night at Fort.McKavett. 
At that time each frontier post had its chihuahua 
or scab town, a little settlement with gambling halls, 
saloons, etc., to catch the soldiers' dollars. At Fort 
McKavett were many discharged soldiers, some of 
them negroes from the Tenth Cavalry. These 
blacks had associated with white gamblers and lewd 
women until they thought themselves the equals of 
white men, and became mean and overbearing. 

On this particular night these negro ex-soldiers 
gave a dance in scab town, and our negro, George, 
wanted to go. He was a light mulatto, almost white, 
but well thought of by all the boys in the company. 
He obtained Lieutenant Reynolds' permission to at- 
tend the dance, and borrowed Tim McCarthy's pis- 
tol to carry to it. When George arrived at the dance 
hall the ex-soldiers did not like his appearance, as 
he was allied with the rangers, whom they despised. 
They jumped on George, took his pistol and kicked 
him out of the place. The boys were all in bed 
when George returned and told McCarthy that the 



negroes at the dance hall had taken his pistol from 

Lieutenant Reynolds was sleeping nearby and 
heard what George said. He raised up on his elbow 
and ordered Sergeant McGee to go with McCarthy 
and George and get the pistol. The negroes saw 
McGee coming and, closing the door, defied him to 
enter the dance hall. 

McGee was cool and careful. He advised the 
negroes to return the pistol, but they refused, say- 
ing they would kill the first white-livered s — o — 
b — that attempted to enter the house. The ser- 
geant then stationed himself at the front door, or- 
dered McCarthy to guard the back entrance of the 

place, and sent George for the lieutenant. Reynolds 
hurried to the scene, taking with him Tom Gillespie 
and Dick Harrison. The lieutenant knocked on the 
door and told the blacks he was the commander of 
the rangers and demanded their surrender. They 
replied with an oath that they would not do so. 
Reynolds then ordered the house cleared of women 
and gave the negroes just five minutes in which to 

Up to this time the women had been quiet, but 
they now began to scream. This probably demor- 
alized the negro men. One of them poked Mc- 
Carthy's pistol, muzzle foremost, out of a window. 



"Here, come get your d — n pistol," he said. 

McCarthy, a new man in the service, stepped up 
and grasped it. The instant the negro felt the 
touch of McCarthy's hand on the weapon he pulled 
the trigger. The ball pierced McCarthy's body just 
above the heart, giving him a mortal wound. 

At the crack of the pistol the rangers opened fire 
through the doors and windows on the negroes 
within the house. Reynolds and his men then 
charged the place, and when the smoke of battle 
cleared they found four dead negro men and a little 
negro girl that had been killed by accident. Only 
one black escaped. He was hidden under a bed, 
and as the rangers came in, made a dash to safety 
under cover of darkness. McCarthy died the fol- 
lowing day and was buried near old Fort McKavett. 
Negro George fought like a tiger and won the boys' 

A few days afterward the sheriff of Tom Green 
County, following the trail of a bunch of stolen 
cattle from San Angelo, came into our camp. Lieu- 
tenant Reynolds sent Sergeant Nevill and a scout 
of rangers with the sheriff. The trail led over to 
the South Llano, where the cattle were recovered. 
While scouting around the herd, Sergeant Nevill 
discovered a man riding down the trail toward him. 
He and his men secreted themselves and awaited 



the stranger's approach. It was getting quite dark, 
and when the newcomer had ridden almost over 
the concealed rangers without noticing their pres- 
ence they rose up, presented their guns and ordered 
him to halt. 

"Yes, — like hell!" he exclaimed, and, turning his 
horse, dived into a cedar brake. A shower of bul- 
lets followed, but failed to strike the fugitive. This 
was the notorious Dick Dublin with a $700 reward 
on his head. 

Sergeant Nevill returned to camp with about 
fifty head of burnt cattle, but let the most notorious 
criminal in the county escape. Lieutenant Reynolds 
was disappointed at this, and said he did not under- 
stand how four crack rangers could let a man ride 
right over them and then get away. He declared 
his negro cook could have killed Dublin had he been 
in their place. This mortified the boys a great deal. 

The latter part of December, 1877, Lieutenant 
Reynolds sent a scout out on Little Saline, Menard 
Countjr. On Christmas day this detail had a run- 
ning fight with four men. John Collins, the man 
who stole a yoke of oxen at Fredericksburg and 
drove them up to within two miles of our camp, 
was captured, as was also John Gray, wanted for 
murder in one of the eastern counties. Jim Pope 



Mason, charged with the murder of Ranee Moore, 
was in this skirmish, but escaped. 

One cold morning about the middle of January 
Corporal Gillett, with Privates John and Will Ban- 
ister, Tom Gillespie, Dave Ligon, and Ben Carter, 
was ordered on a five days' scout. We saddled our 
horses and packed two mules. When all was ready 
I walked over to Lieutenant Reynolds. He was sit- 
ting on a camp stool before his tent and seemed in 
a brown study. I saluted and asked for orders. 

"Well, Corporal," he said, after a moment's hesi- 
tation, "it is a scout after Dick Dublin again. That 
man seems to be a regular Jonah to this company. 
He lives only ten miles from here and I have been 
awfully disappointed at not being able to effect his 
capture. It is a reflection on all of Company 'E.' 
There is one thing sure if I can't capture him I will 
make life miserable for him. I will keep a scout 
in the field after him constantly." 

I then asked if he had any instructions as to the 
route I should travel. 

"No, no," he replied. "I rely too much on your 
judgment to hamper you with orders. After you 
are once out of sight of camp you know these moun- 
tains and trails better than I do. Just go and do 
your best. If you come in contact with him don't 
let him get away." 



After riding a half mile from camp the boys be- 
gan inquiring where we were going and who we 
were after. I told them Dick Dublin. We quit 
the road and traveled south from our camp over 
to the head of Pack Saddle Creek. Here we turned 
down the creek and rounded up the Potter ranch, 
but no one was at home, so we passed on into the 
cedar brake without having been seen. 

On the extreme headwaters of South Llano River 
some cattlemen had built a large stock pen and 
were using it to confine wild cattle. This was far 
out beyond any settlement and probably fifty or 
sixty miles from our camp. I thought it possible 
that Dick Dublin might be hanging around the 
place, so we traveled through the woods most of 
the way to it. Here I found that the cattlemen had 

The scout had now been out two days, so we be- 
gan our return journey. We traveled probably 
twenty-five miles on the third day. On the fourth 
day I timed myself to reach the Potter ranch about 
night. Old man Potter, a friend and neighbor of 
Dublin's, lived here with two grown sons. It was 
known that Dublin frequented the place, and I 
hoped to catch him here unawares. About sun- 
down we were within a mile of the ranch. Here 
we unsaddled our horses and prepared to round 



up the house. If we met with no success we were 
to camp there for the night. I left John Banister 
and Ligon to guard camp while Gillespie, Will Ban- 
ister, and Ben Carter, with myself, approached the 
ranch on foot. If I found no one there I intended 
to return to our camp unseen and round up the 
ranch again the following morning. 

We had not traveled far before we discovered a 
lone man riding slowly down the trail to the Potter 
ranch. We remained hidden and were able to ap- 
proach within fifty yards of the house without being 
seen. We now halted in the bed of a creek for a 
short consultation. The one-room cabin had only 
a single door, and before it was a small wagon. 
The Potters cooked out of doors between the house 
and the wagon. We could see a horse tied to the 
south side of the vehicle, but could not see the camp 
fire for the wagon and the horse. To our right and 
about twenty-five steps away old man Potter and 
one of his sons were unloading some hogs from a 
wagon into a pen. 

We knew the moment we left the creek bed we 
would be in full view of the Potters and the ranch 
house. We decided, then, that we would advance 
on the house as fast as we could run and so be in 
good position to capture the man who had ridden 
into the camp. We rose from the creek running. 



Old man Potter discovered us as we came in view 
and yelled, "Run, Dick, run! Here comes the 

We then knew the man we wanted was at the 
camp. We were so close upon Dublin that he had 
no time to mount his horse or get his gun, so he 
made a run for the brush. I was within twenty- 
five yards of him when he came from behind the 
wagon, running as fast as a big man could. I or- 
dered him to halt and surrender, but he had heard 
that call too many times and kept going. Holding 
my Winchester carbine in my right hand I fired a 
shot directly at him as I ran. In a moment he was 
out of sight. 

I hurried to the place where he was last seen and 
spied him running up a little ravine. I stopped, 
drew a bead on him, and again ordered him to halt. 
As he ran, Dublin threw his hand back under his 
coat as though he were attempting to draw a pistol. 
I fired. My bullet struck the fugitive in the small 
of the back just over the right hip bone and passed 
out near his right collarbone. It killed him in- 
stantly. He was bending over as he ran, and this 
caused the unusual course of my ball. 

The boys, whom I had outrun, now joined me, 
and Carter fired two shots at Dublin after he was 
down. I ordered him to desist as the man was 



dead. I examined the body to make sure it was 
Dublin, for I knew him intimately, as I had cow 
hunted with him before I became a ranger. We 
found him unarmed, but he had a belt of cartridges 
around his waist. He was so completely surprised 
by our sudden appearance he could do nothing but 
run. The $700 reward on him could never be col- 
lected, as it was offered for his arrest and convic- 
tion. Dublin's brothers, Role and Dell, swore ven- 
geance against myself and the Banister boys, but 
nothing ever came of the oath. 

In the month of February, 1878, Lieutenant 
Reynolds started to Austin with five prisoners we 
had captured in Kimble and Menard Counties. 
They were chained together in pairs, John Ste- 
phens, the odd man, was shackled by himself. As 
guard for these prisoners Reynolds had detailed 
Will and John Banister, Dave Ligon, Ben Carter, 
Dick Ware, and myself. 

On the Junction City and Mason road, some ten 
miles east of our camp, was the small ranch of 
Starke Reynolds, a fugitive from justice, charged 
with horse stealing and assault to kill. Company 
"E" had scouted for him in Kimble County and had 
rounded up his ranch many times. We knew he 
was in the county, but he always managed to escape 
us. As we passed this ranch, Lieutenant Reynolds, 



Privates Ware, Carter, Ligon, and myself were 
marching in front, with a four-mule wagon follow- 
ing us, in which were the chained prisoners. Be- 
hind it came the Banisters, who were on guard that 
day and detailed to keep a constant watch on the 
captive outlaws. 

We passed the Starke Reynolds' home about 10 
o'clock in the morning, and Lieutenant Reynolds 
remarked that it was hardly worth while to round 
up the house as he had done so many times in the 
past without result, but that he would surely like 
to capture the fellow. We had not ridden more 
than half a mile beyond the ranch when we came 
face to face with Starke himself. He was a small 
man and riding an exceedingly good brown pony. 
We were about four hundred yards apart and dis- 
covered each other at the same instant. The out- 
law was carrying a small sack of flour in front of 
him. He immediately threw this down, turned his 
horse quickly and made a lightning dash for the 
Llano bottoms, some three miles away. 

At that point the Junction City and Mason road 
winds along a range of high mountains with the 
country sloping downward to the Llano River. 
This grade was studded with scrubby live oak and 
mesquite brush not thick enough to hide a man but 
sufficiently dense to retard his flight through it. 



We gave chase at once and for a mile and a half 
it was the fastest race I ever saw the rangers run. 
We were closely bunched the entire distance, with 
Lieutenant Reynolds — he was riding a fast race 
horse — always slightly in the lead. He finally got 
close enough to the fugitive to demand his surren- 
der. Starke only waved his gun defiantly and re- 
doubled his speed. Lieutenant Reynolds then drew 
his sixshooter and began firing at the outlaw. After 
emptying his pistol he began using his Winchester. 

The Llano bottoms were now looming right up 
in front of us. The race had been fast enough to 
run every horse into a big limber. Carter, Ware, 
and Ligon dropped out of the race. Up to this time 
I had contented myself by trying to keep up with 
Lieutenant Reynolds, for it is always easier to fol- 
low a man through the brush than to run in the 
lead. I had a good grip on my bridle reins and 
was trying to steady my pony as best I could. I 
now saw that the outlaw was beginning to gain on 
us. I ran up beside the lieutenant and said, "He 
is getting away from us. Must I go after him?" 

Lieutenant Reynolds turned and looked at me 
with the wildest look on his face that I ever saw. 
His hat was gone, his face was badly scratched by 
the brush with the blood running down over his 
white shirt bosom. 



"Yes, G — d — n him; stop or kill him!" 

I changed the bridle reins to my left hand, drew 
my gun with my right and, digging my spurs deep 
into my pony's side, I was out of sight of the lieu- 
tenant in three hundred yards. The fugitive saw 
that I was alone and that I was going to overhaul 
him. He suddenly brought his pony to a standstill, 
jumped down, took shelter behind the animal and 
drew a bead on me with his gun. 

"G — d — n you, stop, or I'll kill you!" he cried. 

I tried to obey his order, but my pony was run- 
ning down hill and ran straight at him for twenty- 
five yards more before I could stop. I jumped 
down from my horse and made ready to fight, but 
Starke broke for a thicket on foot. As soon as he 
ran out from behind his pony I fired at him. The 
bullet must have come rather close to him, for he 
turned quickly and took shelter behind his mount 
again. As he peeped over his saddle at me I at- 
tempted to draw a bead on his head, but I was tired, 
nervous and unsteady. Before I could shoot Dave 
Ligon galloped right up to the outlaw, ordered him 
to surrender and drop his gun, which Starke did 
at once. The boys had heard me shoot and in five 
minutes were all upon the scene. 

The captive was searched and ordered to remount 
his pony. With one of the boys leading Starke's 



mount we started back to the wagon, nearly three 
miles away. As soon as the outlaw was a prisoner 
and knew he would not be harmed no matter what 
he said, he began a tirade against the rangers. He 
declared the whole battalion was a set of d — d 
murderers, especially Company "E," and said it 
was curbstone talk in Menard, Mason and Kimble 
Counties that Lieutenant Reynolds' men would kill 
a man and then yell for him to throw up his hands. 
He kept up this running talk until he exhausted 
Lieutenant Reynolds' patience. The latter then or- 
dered Starke to shut up, and declared the speaker 
was a d — d liar, for Company "E" never killed a 
man without first giving him a chance to surrender. 
Lieutenant Reynolds then said that with the last old 
brier-breaker captured he had accomplished the 
task set him and was now ready to go elsewhere. 

As we rode along one of the boys remarked that 
my pony was limping badly. 

"I wish his leg would come right off up to his 
shoulder," declared Starke in disgust. "It it hadn't 
been for him I would have made it to the bottoms 
and escaped." 

On approaching the wagon the prisoner Stephens, 
a man of some intelligence and humor, stood up and 
called out to Starke, "Ry G — , old man, they got 
you! They rode too many corn fed horses and 



carried too many guns for you. I don't know who 
you are, but I'm sorry for you. While they were 
chasing you I got down on my knees here in this 
wagon and with my face turned up to the skies I 
prayed to the Almighty God that you might get 

Starke was chained to this good-natured liar, and 
now, for the first time, our prisoner seemed to 
realize his condition. He asked Lieutenant Reynolds 
to send word to his family that he had been cap- 
tured. The lieutenant thereupon sent one of the 
boys to Starke's home to tell Mrs. Reynolds that 
the rangers would camp on Red Creek for dinner, 
and if she wished to see her husband we would be 
there probably two hours. 

Presently Starke's old gray-haired father came 
to our midday camp. When he saw his son chained 
he burst out crying, saying, "My son, it is not my 
fault that you are in this condition. I did my best 
to give you good advice and tried to raise you right." 

After dinner we resumed our march toward Aus- 
tin. Starke Reynolds was finally turned over to the 
sheriff of Tarrant County. He was admitted to bail 
and gave bond, but before he came to trial he was 
waylaid and killed, supposedly by relatives of the 
man he had previously attempted to murder. 

Early in the spring of 1878 a ranchman living 



five miles above our camp saw a bunch of Indians 
on Bear Creek, Kimble County, and at once reported 
to Lieutenant Reynolds. The redskins had been 
seen late in the evening, and by the time a scout 
could be started after them it was almost night. 
The lieutenant, however, followed the trail until 
it entered a cedar brake. It was then too dark to 
work farther, so the scout returned to camp to 
make arrangements to resume the trail the follow- 
ing morning. On the march back to camp the 
rangers picked up a paint pony with an arrow stick- 
ing in its hip. The Indians had probably tried to 
catch the horse and, failing to do so, had shot it, 
as was their custom. 

Just after dark a runner from Junction City came 
in and reported a bunch of redskins had been seen 
near the town stealing horses. It was a beautiful 
moonlight night and a close watch was kept on 
our horses. Just at midnight John Banister, an 
alert man on guard, noticed that one of our pack 
mules hitched at the end of our picket line was 
pulling back on its rope and looking over a brush 
fence that enclosed the camp. With Winchester 
in hand Banister passed through a gate, walked 
slowly down the fence and into some small under- 
brush near the mule. 

Suddenly a man rose to his feet and fired on Ban- 



ister at a distance of not more than ten steps, then 
broke and ran. Banister at once opened fire on 
the Indian. The very first report of a gun brought 
every man in camp out of his bed. We could see 
the flashes of Banister's gun and went to his aid 
in our night clothes and barefooted. I ran down 
by the picket line of horses and jumped the fence 
where the mule had seen the redskin. By moon- 
light I could glimpse the Indian running down the 
river bank. I shot at him nine times as he ran, 
but without effect. Some two hundred yards be- 
low our camp was a ford on the Llano and the 
fugitive was making for it. 

Just as soon as the Indian reached the crossing 
and plunged into the river, eight or nine of the 
rangers that had followed Banister on the high 
ground were in a position to shell the swimmer as 
he crossed. There were probably a hundred shots 
fired at him, but he finally disappeared in the brush 
on the south side of the river. Investigation of the 
place where he crossed showed the timber cut all 
to pieces but, strange to say, not a shot hit the 
Indian as far as we ever knew. We found a blanket 
where the savage had risen and shot at Banister 
and, measuring the ground, found that the ranger 
was just twelve short steps from the Indian when 
fired upon by the redskin. It was a miracle that 



Banister was not killed; the bullet, a .45 caliber, 
buried itself in some sacks of corn in a tent just 
back of him. 

The next morning we found where ten or twelve 
Indians had waited under some large pecan trees 
while this scout slipped up to our camp to investi- 
gate and steal a horse. The trees were about four 
hundred yards from camp and on the opposite side 
of the river. Some of the rangers jokingly said 
those old braves must have thought this lone one 
stirred up hell at the ranger camp. 

On account of the range cattle and horses along 
the Llano River, Lieutenant Reynolds lost some 
eight or ten hours the next morning before picking 
up the Indian trail. This gave the redskins ten or 
twelve hours start, as they were at our camp just 
at midnight. The trail passed out west between 
North and South Llano Rivers and followed a rough 
mountain country that made pursuit difficult and 
slow. We followed the savages five or six days 
and finally abandoned the trail near the head of 
Devil's River after a heavy rain. 

While we had been active in rounding up the 
numerous outlaws and cattle thieves that infested 
Kimble County, we had not been able to clean up 
the mystery of the Peg Leg stage robbers, which 
had long baffled the best detectives, sheriffs, and 



rangers. Peg Leg was a small stage station on the 
San Saba in the midst of a rough and very moun- 
tainous country. Here the stage was repeatedly 
held up and as repeatedly the robbers escaped. The 
scene of the hold-up was many times examined and 
parties made determined efforts to trail the bandits 
but always without success, for the trail was quickly 
lost in the rough mountains. One of the features 
that proved particularly puzzling was the constant 
recurrence of an exceedingly small footprint at each 
robbery. These marks were so very small they con- 
vinced many observers that a woman from Fort 
McKavett or Fort Concho was operating with the 
bandit gang. Naturally the rangers were anxious 
to round up this group of outlaws and put a stop 
to their depredations. 

In May, 1878, Sergeant Nevill made a scout up 
on the South Llano and captured Bill Alison, a son- 
in-law of old Jimmie Dublin, father of the bandit, 
Dick Dublin. Alison was wanted on several charges 
of cattle theft, and was taken to Austin for safe- 
keeping. After remaining in the Travis County jail 
for nearly a year without being able to give bond, 
Alison became discouraged. He believed his 
brothers-in-law, the Dublins, were not aiding him 
to get bond and became bitter and resentful toward 



them. This antagonism finally led to the unveiling 
of the Peg Leg mystery. 

In the spring of 1879 Dick Ware and myself took 
some prisoners to the Austin jail. Bill Alison saw 
us and called out to me. He and I had been cow- 
boys together long before I became a ranger. 

"Jim," said Alison, "you know I have been cooped 
up here in this jail for nearly a year. People who 
ought to be my friends have evidently abandoned 
me and I am not going to stand it any longer. I 
can put the Peg Leg stage robbers behind the bars, 
and I am going to do it." 

Ware, who was something of a diplomat, said, 
"Hold on, Bill. If you have anything to confess we 
will get an order from the sheriff to take you to 
see General Jones so you can talk to him." 

The general at once wrote a note to Dennis Cor- 
win, sheriff of Travis County, and asked that he let 
Alison accompany vis to his office. The sheriff 
turned his prisoner over to us and we took him to 
General Jones, who had a private interview with 
him for over an hour. What Alison confessed we 
did not know, but we returned him to the jail. 

General Jones moved quickly, for the very next 
day a scout of rangers from Company "E" was 
sent back to Kimble County. I was just preparing 
to go west to El Paso with Colonel Baylor, so I 



missed this last and most important scout back into 
Kimble County. However, this final expedition was 
so successful I cannot omit it from a history of the 

Arriving at Kimble County the Company "E" 
detail arrested Role and Dell Dublin, Mack Potter 
and Rube Boyce. In the running fight that resulted 
in their capture Role received a bad wound in the 
hip. The two Dublin brothers and Mack Potter 
when arraigned in Federal court plead guilty to 
stage robbery and were sentenced to fifteen years 
at hard labor. During their trial the mystery of 
the Peg Leg robberies was finally cleared up. The 
Dublin boys were the guiding spirits in the hold- 
ups and worked with great cleverness. Old man 
Jimmie Dublin's ranch on the South Llano was their 
headquarters. From the ranch to Peg Leg Station 
on the San Saba was not more than sixty miles 
across a rough, mountainous country. As there 
were no wire fences in those days the robbers would 
ride over to the station, rob the stage and in one 
night's ride regain their home. Traveling at night 
they were never observed. Dick Dublin, whose 
death while resisting capture has already been de- 
scribed, was the leader of the bandit gang. Even 
the mystery of the tiny footprints was disclosed; 



they were made by Mack Potter, who had an un- 
usually small foot for a man. 

While Rube Boyce was confined in the Travis 
County jail he made one of the most sensational 
jail escapes in the criminal annals of Texas. Mrs. 
Boyce called at the prison with a suit of clean 
underclothes for her husband. The basket in 
which she carried them was examined and she was 
admitted into the cell of her husband. However, 
she had hidden a big .45 Colt's revolver about her 
person and smuggled it in. Rube changed his 
underwear, put the soiled garments in the basket 
and hid the pistol under them. 

At the end of her visit Mrs. Boyce started out 
and Rube accompanied her down the corridor to 
the door. Mr. Albert Nichols, the jailer, opened the 
door with his left hand to let the woman pass out, 
at the same time holding his pistol in his right 
hand. As the door swung open Rube reached into 
the basket he was carrying for his wife, whipped 
out the hidden pistol, thrust it into the jailer's face 
and ordered him to drop his .45 and step within the 
jail. Realizing that a second's hesitation would 
mean his death, Nichols complied and was locked 
in by the outlaw. 

Boyce then ran out of the back yard of the jail, 
mounted a pony that had been hitched there for 



him and galloped out of Austin, firing his pistol as 
he ran. He made a complete get-away. Three or 
four years later he was arrested at Socorro, New 
Mexico, and returned to Austin. At his trial for 
participation in the Peg Leg stage robberies he was 
acquitted, and perhaps justly so, for Bill Alison de- 
clared to me that Dick Dublin with his brothers Dell 
and Role and Mack Potter were the real robbers. 

The arrest and conviction of the Dublins, together 
with the other men Lieutenant Reynolds had cap- 
tured or killed completely cleaned out the stage rob- 
bers, cattle and horse thieves and murderers that 
had made Kimble County their rendezvous. Today 
Kimble County is one of the most prosperous and 
picturesque counties in the state. Its citizens are 
law-abiding and energetic. Junction City, the 
pounty seat, is a splendid little city of probably 
twenty-five hundred inhabitants. 

Forty years ago, the time of which I write, there 
were no courthouses in Kimble County. The first 
district courts were held under the spreading boughs 
of a large oak tree. The rangers, of which I w r as 
frequently one, guarded the prisoners under another 
tree at a convenient distance from the judge and 
his attendants. 

Late in the spring or early summer of 1878 at a 
session of the County Court of San Saba County, 



Billy Brown was being prosecuted by County At- 
torney Brooks for a violation of the prohibition 
laws. Brown took offense at a remark of the prose- 
cuting attorney and attempted to draw his six- 
shooter on him. T. J. T. Kendall, a law partner 
of Brooks, saw Brown's move and quickly whip- 
ping out his own pistol, he killed Brown in the 
courtroom. Then, fearing a mob if captured, Ken- 
dall fortified himself in a second story of the court- 
house and refused to surrender. He held the whole 
town at bay while his wife administered to his 
wants. Meantime, he sent a hurry call to the near- 
est rangers asking for protection against mob vio- 
lence. Captain Arrington received the message and 
sent a detachment from Coleman to San Saba to 
preserve order. 

General Jones was notified and ordered Lieuten- 
ant Reynolds at Junction City to march to San Saba 
with his company, take charge of Kendall and re- 
lieve Captain Arrington's men. It was probably two 
weeks after the killing before Company "E" reached 
San Saba, but Mr. Kendall was still holding fort in 
the upper story of the courthouse. 

On the arrival of Reynolds' company, Kendall 
asked the court for a preliminary examination. 
When court convened, the prisoner waived exami- 
nation and asked for transference to the Travis 



County jail at Austin. The court, realizing the feel- 
ing against Kendall, ordered his removal thither. 

When the time came for Kendall's removal a 
hack was driven up to the courthouse door, where 
a great crowd had assembled to see the prisoner. 
Jim Brown, sheriff of Lee County, Texas, and 
brother of Bill Brown, heavily armed, had taken 
his station within ten feet of the prison door. Just 
before Mr. Kendall descended the courthouse steps 
Lieutenant Reynolds ordered the crowd to fall back 
fifty feet from the hack. The people immediately 
obeyed with the exception of Jim Brown, who sat 
perfectly still on his horse. The lieutenant looked 
at Brown for a minute, then turned to his rangers 
and ordered them to draw their guns and move 
everyone fifty yards from the courthouse. Like a 
flash every ranger drew his gun, dismounted and 
waved the crowd back. 

Brown turned to Reynolds and said, "I am going 
to Austin with you." 

"If you do, you will go in irons. Move back!" 

Brown, who had killed several men, slowly turned 
his horse and rode away. He did not know the man 
with whom he was dealing. Lawyer Kendall was 
thereupon carried to Austin without incident. 

When we reached Austin, Jim Brown met Lieu- 
tenant Reynolds on the street and apologized for 



the way he had acted at San Saba. He said he fully 
intended to kill Kendall as he approached the hack, 
but the presence of so many rangers caused him to 
change his mind. Lieutenant Reynolds declared he 
was anticipating just such a move and had in- 
structed his men to shoot Brown into doll rags at 
his first move. 

Soon after this Lieutenant Reynolds moved Com- 
pany "E" down on the San Saba in a beautiful 
pecan grove, an ideal summer camp, about two 
miles from the town of San Saba. From this point 
we scouted all over Llano, Lampasas, Burnet and 
San Saba Counties at our favorite pursuit of round- 
ing up bad men. It was from this camp that we 
made our sensational ride to Round Rock after 
Sam Bass, the notorious train robber. 



Sam Bass, the noted train robber, was born in 
Indiana, July 21, 1851. He came to Texas while 
quite a youth and worked for Sheriff Everhart of 
Denton County until he reached manhood. While 
still an exemplary and honest young man, Bass 
came into possession of a small race pony, a little 
sorrel mare. On Saturday evenings, when most of 
the neighborhood boys met in Denton, Bass raced 
his pony with much success. Mr. Everhart soon 
noticed that Sam was beginning to neglect his work 
because of his pony and, knowing only too well 
what this would lead to, he advised Sam to sell his 
mare. Bass hesitated, for he loved the animal. 
Finally matters came to such a point that Mr. Ever- 
hart told Sam he would have to get rid of the horse 
or give up his job. Thereupon Bass promptly quit, 
and this was probably the turning point in his life. 

Bass left Denton County in the spring of 1877 
and traveled to San Antonio. Here many cattlemen 
were gathered to arrange for the spring cattle drive 
to the north. Joel Collins, who was planning to 
drive a herd from Uvalde County to Deadwood, 
Dakota, hired Bass as a cowboy. After six months 



on the trail the herd reached Deadwood and was 
sold and all the cowboys paid off by Mr. Collins. 

At that period Deadwood was a great, wide open 
mining town. Adventurers, gamblers, mining and 
cattlemen all mingled together. Though Joel Col- 
lins had bought his cattle on credit and owed the 
greater part of the money he had received for them 
to his friends in Texas, he gambled away all the 
money he had received for the herd. When he 
sobered up and realized all his money was gone he 
did not have the moral courage to face his friends 
and creditors at home. He became desperate, and 
with a band of his cowboys held up and robbed 
several stage coaches in the Black Hills. These 
robberies brought Collins very little booty, but they 
started Sam Bass on his criminal career. 

In the fall of 1877, Collins, accompanied by Bass, 
Jack Davis, Jim Berry, Bill Heffridge, and John 
Underwood, better known as Old Dad, left Dead- 
wood and drifted down to Ogallala, Nebraska. Here 
he conceived, planned and carried into execution 
one of the boldest train robberies that ever occurred 
in the United States up to that time. When all was 
ready these six men, heavily armed and masked, 
held up the Union Pacific train at Big Springs, a 
small station a few miles beyond Ogallala. The 
bandits entered the express car and ordered the 



messenger to open the safe. The latter explained 
that the through safe had a time lock and could 
only be opened at the end of the route. One of the 
robbers then began to beat the messenger over the 
head with a sixshooter, declaring he would kill him 
if the safe were not opened. Bass, always of a 
kindly nature, pleaded with the man to desist, de- 
claring he believed the messenger was telling the 
truth. Just as the robbers were preparing to leave 
the car without a cent one of them noticed three 
stout little boxes piled near the big safe. The curi- 
ous bandit seized a coal pick and knocked off the 
lid of the top box. To his great joy and delight 
he exposed $20,000 in shining gold coin ! The three 
boxes each held a similar amount, all in $20 gold 
pieces of the mintage of 1877. 

After looting these boxes the robbers went 
through the train, and in a systematic manner 
robbed the passengers of about $5000. By day- 
light the bandits had hidden their booty and re- 
turned to Ogallala. They hung around town several 
days while railroad officials, United States marshals 
and sheriffs' parties were scouring the country for 
the train robbers. 

While in Ogallala before and after the robbery, 
Collins and his men frequented a large general mer- 
chandise store. In this store was a clerk who had 



once been an express messenger on the Union Pa- 
cific and who was well acquainted with the officials 
of that company. I have forgotten his name, but 
I will call him Moore for the sake of clearness in 
my narrative. Of course the great train robbery 
was the talk of the town. Moore conversed with 
Collins and his gang about the hold-up, and the 
bandits declared they would help hunt the robbers 
if there was enough money in it. 

Moore's suspicions were aroused and he became 
convinced that Collins and his band were the real 
hold-up men. However, he said nothing to anyone 
about this belief, but carefully watched the men. 
Finally, Collins came to the store and, after buy- 
ing clothing and provisions, told Mr. Moore that 
he and his companions were going back to Texas 
and would be up the trail the following spring with 
another herd of cattle. When Collins had been 
gone a day's travel, Mr. Moore hired a horse and 
followed him. He soon found the route the sus- 
pects were traveling, and on the second day Moore 
came upon them suddenly while they were stopping 
at a roadside farmhouse to have some bread cooked. 
Moore passed by without being noticed and secreted 
himself near the highway. In a short time Collins 
and his men passed on and Moore trailed them 
until they went into camp. When it was dark the 



amateur detective crept up to the bandits, but they 
had gone to sleep and he learned nothing. 

The next day Moore resumed the trail. He 
watched the gang make their camp for the night 
and again crept up to within a few yards of his sus- 
pects. The bandits had built a big fire and were 
laughing and talking. Soon they spread out a 
blanket, and to Moore's great astonishment brought 
out some money bags and emptied upon the blanket 
sixty thousand dollars in gold. From his concealed 
position the trailer heard the robbers discuss the 
hold-up. They declared they did not believe anyone 
had recognized or suspected them and decided it 
was now best for them to divide the money, sep- 
arate in pairs and go their way. The coin was 
stacked in six piles and each man received $10,000 
in $20 gold pieces. It was further decided that 
Collins and Bill Heffridge would travel back to San 
Antonio, Texas, together; Sam Bass and Jack Davis 
were to go to Denton County, Texas, while Jim 
Berry and Old Dad were to return to the Berry 
home in Mexico, Missouri. 

As soon as Mr. Moore had seen the money and 
heard the robbers' plans he slipped back to his 
horse, mounted and rode day and night to reach 
Ogallala. He notified the railroad officials of what 
he had seen, gave the names and descriptions of 



the bandits and their destinations. This informa- 
tion was sent broadcast over southern Nebraska, 
Kansas, Indian Territory, and Texas. In the fugi- 
tive list sent to each of the companies of the Fron- 
tier Battalion of rangers Sam Bass was thus de- 
scribed: "Twenty-five to twenty-six years old> 5 feet 
7 inches high, black hair, dark brown eyes, brown 
moustache, large white teeth, shows them when 
talking; has very little to say." 

A few days after the separation of the robbers, 
Joel Collins and Bill Heffridge rode into a small 
place in Kansas called Buffalo Station. They led 
a pack pony. Dismounting from their tired horses 
and leaving them standing in the shade of the store 
building, the two men entered the store and made 
several purchases. The railroad agent at the place 
noticed the strangers ride up. He had, of course, 
been advised to be on the lookout for the train rob- 
bers. He entered the store and in a little while 
engaged Collins in conversation. While talking the 
robber pulled his handkerchief out of his coat 
pocket and exposed a letter with his name thereon. 
The agent was a shrewd man. He asked Collins if 
he had not driven a herd of cattle up the trail in 
the spring. Collins declared he had, and finally, in 
answer to a direct question, admitted that his name 
was Joel Collins. 



Five or six hundred yards from Buffalo Station 
a lieutenant of the United States Army had camped 
a troop of ten men that was scouting for the train 
robbers. As soon as Collins and Heffridge re- 
mounted and resumed their way the agent ran 
quickly to the soldiers' camp, pointed out the ban- 
dits to the lieutenant and declared, "There go two 
of the Union Pacific train robbers!" 

The army officer mounted his men and pursued 
Collins and Heffridge. When he overtook the two 
men he told them their descriptions tallied with 
those of some train robbers that he was scouting 
for, and declared they would have to go back to the 
station and be identified. Collins laughed at the 
idea, and declared that he and his companion were 
cattlemen returning to their homes in Texas. They 
reluctantly turned and started back with the sol- 
diers. After riding a few hundred yards the two 
robbers held a whispered conversation. Suddenly 
the two pulled their pistols and attempted to stand 
off the lieutenant and his troop. The desperadoes 
were promptly shot and killed. On examining 
their packs the soldiers found tied up in the legs 
of a pair of overalls $20,000 in gold, 1877 mintage. 
Not a dollar of the stolen money had been used 
and there was no doubt about the identity of the 



Not long after the divide up in Nebraska Jim 
Berry appeared at his home in Mexico, Missouri. 
At once he deposited quite a lot of money in the 
local bank and exchanged $3000 in gold for cur- 
rency, explaining his possession of the gold by say- 
ing he had sold a mine in the Black Hills. In three 
or four days the sheriff of the county learned of 
Berry's deposits and called at the bank to see the 
new depositor's gold. His suspicion became a cer- 
tainty when he found that Berry had deposited 
$20 gold pieces of 1877. 

At night the sheriff with a posse rounded up 
Berry's house, but the suspect was not there. The 
home was well provisioned and the posse found 
many articles of newly purchased clothing. Just 
after daylight, while searching about the place the 
sheriff heard a horse whinny in some timber nearby. 
Upon investigating this he suddenly came upon 
Jim Berry sitting on a pallet. Berry discovered th< 
officer at about the same time and attempted to 
escape by running. He was fired upon, one bullel 
striking him in the knee and badly shattering it. 
He was taken to his home and given the best of 
medical attention, but gangrene set in and he died 
in a few days. Most of his $10,000 was recovered. 
Old Dad evidently quit Berry somewhere en route, 



for he made good his escape with his ill-gotten gain 
and was never apprehended. 

Sam Bass and Jack Davis, after the separation in 
Nebraska, sold their ponies, bought a light spring 
wagon and a pair of work horses. They placed 
their gold pieces in the bottom of the wagon, threw 
their bedding and clothes over it, and in this dis- 
guise traveled through Kansas and the Indian Ter- 
ritory to Denton County, Texas. During their trip 
through the Territory Bass afterward said he 
camped within one hundred yards of a detachment 
of cavalry. After supper he and Davis visited the 
soldiers' camp and chatted with them until bed- 
time. The soldiers said they were on the lookout 
for some train robbers that had held up the Union 
Pacific in Nebraska, never dreaming for a moment 
that they were conversing with two of them. The 
men also mentioned that two of the robbers had 
been reported killed in Kansas. 

This rumor put Bass and Davis on their guard, 
and on reaching Denton County they hid in the elm 
bottoms until Bass could interview some of his 
friends. Upon meeting them he learned that the 
names and descriptions of every one of the Union 
Pacific train robbers were in the possession of the 
law officers; that Collins, Heff ridge, and Berry had 
been killed; and that every sheriff in North Texas 



was on the watch for Davis and himself . Davis at 
once begged Bass to go with him to South America, 
but Bass refused, so Davis bade Sam goodbye and 
set out alone. He was never captured. On his 
deathbed Bass declared he had once received a 
letter from Jack Davis written from New Orleans, 
asking Bass to come there and go into the business 
of buying hides. 

Bass had left Denton County early in the spring 
an honest, sincere and clean young man. By fall- 
ing with evil associates he had become within a few 
months one of the most daring outlaws and train 
robbers of his time. Before he had committed any 
crime in the state the officers of North Texas made 
repeated efforts to capture him for the big reward 
offered by the Union Pacific and the express com- 
pany but. owing to the nature of the country around 
Denton and the friends Bass had as long as his gold 
lasted, met with no success. 

Bass' money soon attracted several desperate and 
daring men to him. Henry Underwood. Arkansas 
Johnson. Jim Murphy. Frank Jackson, Pipes Hern- 
don, and Collins. — the last one a cousin of Joel 
Collins — and two or three others joined him in the 
elm bottoms. Naturally Bass was selected as leader 
of the gang. It was not long before the outlaw 
chief planned and executed his first train robbery 



in Texas: that at Eagle Ford, a small station on 
the T. P. Railroad, a few miles out of Dallas. In 
quick succession the bandits held up two or three 
other trains, the last, I believe, being at Mesquite 
Station, ten or twelve miles east of Dallas. From 
this robbery they secured about $3000. They met 
with opposition here, for the conductor, though 
armed with only a small pistol, fought the robbers 
to a fare-you-well and slightly wounded one of 

The whole state was now aroused by the repeated 
train hold-ups. General Jones hurried to Dallas 
and Denton to look over the situation and, strange 
to say, he arranged to organize a company of 
rangers at Dallas. Captain June Peak, a very able 
officer, was given the command. No matter how 
brave a company of recruits, it takes time and train- 
ing to get results from them, and when this raw 
company was thrown into the field against Bass 
and his gang the bandit leader played with it as a 
child plays with toys. Counting the thirty rangers 
and the different sheriffs' parties, there were prob- 
ably one hundred men in pursuit of the Bass gang. 
Sam played hide-and-seek with them all and, it is 
said, never ranged any farther west than Stephens 
County or farther north than Wise. He was gen- 
erally in Dallas. Denton or Tarrant Counties. He 



would frequently visit Fort Worth or Dallas at 
night, ride up with his men to some outside saloon, 
get drinks all around and then vamoose. 

Finally in a fight at Salt Creek, Wise County, 
Captain June Peak and his rangers killed Arkansas 
Johnson, Rass' most trusted lieutenant. Either just 
before or soon after this battle the rangers captured 
Pipes Herndon and Jim Murphy and drove Rass 
and his two remaining companions out of North 
Texas. At that time the state had on the frontier 
of Texas six companies of veteran rangers. They 
were finely mounted, highly equipped, and were 
the best mounted police in the world. Any com- 
pany on the line could have been marched to Den- 
ton in ten days, yet they were never moved one mile 
in that direction. Any one of those highly trained 
commands could have broken up the Sam Rass 
gang in half the time it took a command of new 

After the fight on Salt Creek only Sam Rass, Sebe 
Rarnes, and Frank Jackson were left of the once 
formidable gang. These men had gained nothing 
from their four train robberies in North Texas, and 
were so hard pressed by the officers of the law on 
all sides that Rass reluctantly decided to leave the 
country and try to make his way to Old Mexico. 
Through some pretended friends of Rass, General 



Jones learned of the contemplated move. He, with 
Captain Peak and other officers, approached Jim 
Murphy, one of Bass' gang captured about the time 
of the Salt Creek fight, who was awaiting trial by 
the Federal authorities for train robbery, and prom- 
ised they would secure his release if he would be- 
tray Bass. Murphy hesitated and said his former 
chief had been kind to his family, had given them 
money and provisions, and that it would be un- 
grateful to betray his friend; The general declared 
he understood Murphy's position fully, but Bass 
was an outlaw, a pest to the country, who was pre- 
paring to leave the state and so could no longer 
help him. General Jones warned Murphy that the 
evidence against him was overwhelming and was 
certain to send him to the Federal prison — probably 
for life — and exhorted him to remember his wife 
and his children. Murphy finally yielded and agreed 
to betray Bass and his gang at the first opportunity. 
According to the plan agreed upon Murphy was 
to give bond and when the Federal court convened 
at Tyler, Texas, a few weeks later he was not to 
show up. It would then be published all over the 
country that Murphy had skipped bond and re- 
joined Bass. This was carried out to the letter. 
Murphy joined Bass in the elm bottoms of Denton 
County and agreed to rob a train or bank and get 



out of the country. Some of Bass' friends, sus- 
picious of Murphy's bondsmen, wrote Sam that 
Murphy was playing a double game and advised him 
to kill the traitor at once. Bass immediately con- 
fronted Murphy with these reports and reminded 
him how freely he had handed out his gold to 
Murphy's family. Bass declared he had never ad- 
vised or solicited Jim to join him, and said it was 
a low down, mean and ungrateful trick to betray 
him. He told Murphy plainly if he had anything 
to say to say it quickly. Barnes agreed with his 
chief and urged Murphy's death. 

The plotter denied any intention of betraying 
Bass and offered to take the lead in any robbery 
Bass should plan and be the first to enter the ex- 
press car or climb over the bank railing. Bass 
was mad and so was Barnes. They elected to kill 
the liar at once. Frank Jackson had taken no part 
in the conversation, but he now declared he had 
known Murphy since he was a little boy, and he 
was sure Murphy was sincere and meant to stand 
by them through thick and thin. Bass was not 
satisfied, and insisted that Murphy be murdered 
then and there. Jackson finally told Bass and 
Barnes that they could not kill Murphy without 
first killing him. Although the youngest of the 
party — Frank was only twenty-two years old — Jack- 



son had great influence over his chief. He was 
brave and daring, and Bass at that time could not 
very well get along without him, so his counsel 
prevailed and Murphy was spared. The bandits 
then determined to quit the country. Their plan 
was to rob a small bank somewhere en route to 
Old Mexico and thus secure the funds needed to 
facilitate their escape, for they were all broke. 

Bass, Sebe Barnes, Frank Jackson, and Jim Mur- 
phy left Denton County early in July, 1878. With 
his usual boldness, Bass, after he had passed Dallas 
County, made no attempt at concealment, but trav- 
eled the public highway in broad daylight. Bass 
and Barnes were still suspicious of Murphy, and 
never let him out of their sight, though they refused 
to talk to or to associate with him in any way. 
When Bass reached Waco the party camped on 
the outskirts of the town and remained there two 
or three days. They visited the town each day, 
looked over the situation, and in one bank saw 
much gold and currency. Jackson was enthusiastic 
and wanted to rob it at once. Bass, being more 
careful and experienced, thought it too hazardous 
an undertaking, for the run through crowded streets 
to the outskirts of the city was too far; and so vetoed 
the attempt. 

While in Waco the gang stepped into a saloon 



to get a drink. Bass laid a $20 gold piece on the 
bar and remarked, "There goes the last twenty of 
the Union Pacific money and d — n little good it 
has done me." On leaving Waco the robbers stole 
a fine mare from a farmer named Billy Mounds 
and traveled the main road to Belton. They were 
now out of money and planned to rob the bank at 
Round Rock, Williamson County. 

General Jones was now getting anxious over the 
gang. Not a word had been heard from Jim Mur- 
phy since he had rejoined the band, for he had 
been so closely watched that he had had no oppor- 
tunity to communicate with the authorities, and it 
seemed as if he would be forced to participate in 
the next robbery in spite of himself. 

At Belton Sam sold an extra pony his party had 
after stealing the mare at Waco. The purchaser 
demanded a bill of sale as the vendors were 
strangers in the country. While Bass and Barnes 
were in a store writing out the required document, 
Murphy seized the opportunity to dash off a short 
note to General Jones, saying, "We are on our way 
to Round Rock to rob the bank. For God's sake 
be there to prevent it." As the postofiice adjoined 
the store the traitor succeeded in mailing his letter 
of betrayal just one minute before Bass came out 
on the street again. The gang continued their way 



to Round Rock and camped near the old town, 
which is situated about one mile north of New 
Round Rock. The bandits concluded to rest and 
feed their horses for three or four days before at- 
tempting their robbery. This delay was providen- 
tial, for it gave General Jones time to assemble his 
rangers to repel the attack. 

After Major Jones was made Adjutant-General 
of Texas he caused a small detachment of four or 
five rangers to camp on the Capitol grounds at 
Austin. He drew his units from different com- 
panies along the line. Each unit would be detailed 
to camp in Austin, and about every six weeks or 
two months the detail would be relieved by a squad 
from another company. It will readily be seen 
that this was a wise policy, as the detail was al- 
ways on hand and could be sent in any direction 
by rail or on horseback at short notice. Besides, 
General Jones was devoted to his rangers and liked 
to have them around where he could see them daily. 
At the time of which I write four men from Com- 
pany "E" — Corporal Vernon Wilson and Privates 
Dick Ware, Chris Connor, and Geo. Harold — were 
camped at Austin. The corporal helped General 
Jones as a clerk in his office, but was in charge of 
the squad on the Capitol grounds, slept in camp 
and had his meals with them. 



When General Jones received Murphy's letter he 
was astonished at Rass' audacity in approaching 
within fifteen or twenty miles of the state capital, 
the very headquarters of the Frontier Rattalion, 
to rob a bank. The letter was written at Relton, 
Texas, and received at the Adjutant-General's office 
on the last mail in the afternoon. The company of 
rangers nearest Round Rock was Lieutenant 
Reynolds' Company "E," stationed at San Saba, 
one hundred and fifteen miles distant. There was 
no telegraph to San Saba then. General Jones re- 
flected a few moments after receipt of the letter 
and then arranged his plan rapidly. 

He turned to Corporal Wilson and told him that 
Sam Rass and his gang were, or soon would be, at 
Round Rock, Texas, to rob the bank there. 

"I want you to leave at once to carry an order 
to Lieutenant Reynolds. It is sixty-five miles to 
Lampasas and you can make that place early 
enough in the morning to catch the Lampasas and 
San Saba stage,, You must make that stage at 
all hazards, save neither yourself nor your horse, 
but get these orders to Lieutenant Reynolds as 
quickly as possible," he ordered. 

Corporal Wilson hurried to the livery stable, sad- 
dled his horse and got away from Austin on his 
wild ride just at nightfall. His horse was fresh and 



fat and in no condition to make such a run. How- 
ever, Wilson reached Lampasas at daylight next 
morning and made the outgoing stage to San Saba, 
but killed his gallant little gray horse in the doing 
of it. From Lampasas to San Saba was fifty miles, 
and it took the stage all day to make the trip. As 
soon as he landed in town Corporal Wilson hired 
a horse and galloped three miles down to Lieu- 
tenant Reynolds' camp and delivered his orders. 

After dispatching Corporal Wilson to Lieutenant 
Reynolds, General Jones hurried over to the ranger 
camp on the Capitol grounds and ordered the three 
rangers, Ware, Connor, and Harold, to proceed to 
Round Rock, put their horses in Highsmith's livery 
stable and keep themselves concealed until he could 
reach them himself by train next morning. The 
following morning General Jones went to Round 
Rock. He carried with him from Austin, Morris 
Moore, an ex-ranger but then deputy sheriff of 
Travis County. On reaching his destination the 
general called on Deputy Sheriff Grimes of Wil- 
liamson County, who was stationed at Round Rock, 
told him Bass was expected in town to rob the 
bank, and that a scout of rangers would be in town 
as soon as possible. Jones advised Deputy Grimes 
to keep a sharp lookout for strangers but on no 



account to attempt an arrest until the rangers could 

I well remember the hot July evening when Cor- 
poral Wilson arrived in our camp with his orders. 
The company had just had supper, the horses fed 
and tied up for the night. We knew the sudden 
appearance of the corporal meant something of 
unusual importance. Soon Sergeant Nevill came 
hurrying to us with orders to detail a party for an 
immediate scout. Lieutenant Reynolds' orders had 
been brief but to the point: "Bass is at Round 
Rock. We must be there as early as possible to- 
morrow. Make a detail of eight men and select 
those that have the horses best able to make a fast 
run. And you, with them, report to me here at 
my tent ready to ride in thirty minutes." 

First Sergeant C. L. Nevill, Second Sergeant Henry 
McGee, Second Corporal J. B. Gillett, Privates Abe 
Anglin, Dave Ligon, Bill Derrick, and John R. and 
W. L. Banister were selected for the detail. Lieu- 
tenant Reynolds ordered two of our best little pack 
mules hitched to a light spring hack, for he had 
been sick and was not in condition to make the 
journey horseback. In thirty minutes from the 
time Corporal Wilson reached camp we were 
mounted, armed and ready to go. Lieutenant 
Reynolds took his seat in the hack, threw some 



blankets in, and Corporal Wilson, who had not had 
a minute's sleep for over thirty-six hours, lay down 
to get a little rest as we moved along. Say, boys, 
did you ever try to follow on horseback two fast 
traveling little mules hitched to an open-topped 
spring hack for one hundred miles? Well, it is 
some stunt. We left our camp on the San Saba 
River just at sunset and traveled in a fast trot and 
sometimes in a lope the entire night. 

Our old friend and comrade, Jack Martin, then 
in the mercantile business at the little town of 
Senterfitt, heard us pass by in the night, and next 
morning said to some of his customers that hell 
was to pay somewhere as the rangers had passed 
his store during the night on a dead run. 

The first rays of the rising sun shone on us at 
the crossing of North Gabriel, fifteen miles south 
of Lampasas. We had ridden sixty-five miles that 
short summer night — we had forty-five miles yet 
to go before reaching Round Rock. We halted on 
the Gabriel for breakfast of bread, broiled bacon 
and black coffee. The horses had a bundle of oats 
each. Lieutenant Reynolds held his watch on us 
and it took us just thirty minutes to breakfast and 
be off again. We were now facing a hot July sun 
and our horses were beginning to show the effects 
of the hard ride of the night before and slowed 



down perceptibly. We never halted again until we 
reached the vicinity of old Round Rock between 
1 and 2 o'clock in the afternoon of Friday, July 19, 
1878. The lieutenant camped us on the banks of 
Brushy Creek and drove into New Round Rock to 
report his arrival to General Jones. 

Bass had decided to rob the bank at Round Rock 
on Saturday, the 20th. After his gang had eaten 
dinner in camp Friday evening they saddled their 
ponies and started over to town to take a last look 
at the bank and select a route to follow in leaving 
the place after the robbery. As they left camp Jim 
Murphy, knowing that the bandits might be set 
upon at any time, suggested that he stop at May's 
store in Old Round Rock and get a bushel of corn, 
as they were out of feed for their horses. Bass, 
Barnes and Jackson rode on into town, hitched 
their horses in an alley just back of the bank, 
passed that building and made a mental note of 
its situation. They then went up the main street 
of the town and entered Copprel's store to buy some 
tobacco. As the three bandits passed into the store, 
Deputy Sheriff Moore, who was standing on the 
sidewalk with Deputy Sheriff Grimes, said he 
thought one of the newcomers had a pistol. 

"I will go in and see," replied Grimes. 



"I believe you have a pistol," remarked Grimes, 
approaching Bass and trying to search him. 

"Yes, of course I have a pistol," said Bass. At 
the words the robbers pulled their guns and killed 
Grimes as he backed away to the door. He fell 
dead on the sidewalk. They then turned on Moore 
and shot him through the lungs as he attempted 
to draw his weapon. 

At the crack of the first pistol shot Dick Ware, 
who was seated in a barber shop only a few steps 
awa3 r waiting his turn for a shave, rushed into the 
street and encountered the three bandits just as 
they were leaving the store. Seeing Ware rapidh 7 
advancing on them, Bass and his men fired on the 
ranger at close range, one of their bullets striking 
a hitching post within six inches of Ware's head 
and knocking splinters into his face. This assault 
never halted Ware for an instant. He was as brave 
as courage itself and never hesitated to take the 
most desperate chances when the occasion de- 
manded it. For a few minutes Dick fought the 
robbers single handed. General Jones, coming up 
town from the telegraph office, ran into the fight. 
He was armed with only a small Colt's double action 
pistol, but threw himself into the fray. Connor 
and Harold had now come up and joined in the 
fusillade. The general, seeing the robbers on foot 



and almost within his grasp, drew in close and 
urged his men to strain every nerve to capture or 
exterminate the desperadoes. By this time every 
man in the town that could secure a gun joined in 
the fight. 

The bandits had now reached their horses, and 
realizing their situation was critical fought with 
the energy of despair. If ever a train robber could 
be called a hero this boy, Frank Jackson, proved 
himself one. Barnes was shot down and killed at 
his feet, Bass was mortally wounded and unable 
to defend himself or even mount his horse while 
the bullets continued to pour in from every quar- 
ter. With heroic courage, Jackson held the rangers 
back with his pistol in his right hand while he un- 
hitched Bass' horse with his left and assisted him 
into the saddle. Then, mounting his own horse, 
Jackson and his chief galloped out of the jaws of 
hell itself. In their flight they passed through Old 
Round Rock, and Jim Murphy, standing in the door 
of May's store, saw Jackson and Bass go by on the 
dead run. The betrayer noticed that Jackson was 
holding Bass, pale and bleeding, in the saddle. 

Lieutenant Reynolds, entering Round Rock, came 
within five minutes of meeting Bass and Jackson 
in the road. Before he reached town he met posses 
of citizens and rangers in pursuit of the robbers. 



When the fugitives reached the cemetery Jackson 
halted long enough to secure a Winchester they 
had hidden in the grass there, then left the road 
and were lost for a time. The fight was now over 
and the play spoiled by two over-zealous deputies 
in bringing on an immature fight after they had 
been warned to be careful. Naturally Moore and 
Grimes should have known that the three strangers 
were the Sam Bass gang. 

Lieutenant Reynolds started Sergeant Nevill and 
his rangers early next morning in search of the 
flying bandits. After traveling in the direction the 
robbers were last seen we came upon a man lying 
under a large oak tree. Seeing we were armed as 
we advanced upon him he called out to us not to 
shoot, saying he was Sam Bass, the man we were 

After entering the woods the evening before, Bass 
became so sick and faint from loss of blood that 
he could go no farther. Jackson dismounted and 
wanted to stay with his chief, declaring he was a 
match for all their pursuers. 

"No, Frank," replied Bass. "I am done for." 

The wounded leader told his companion to tie 
his horse near at hand so he could get away if he 
felt better during the night. Jackson was finally 



prevailed upon to leave Bass and make his own 

When daylight came Saturday morning Bass got 
up and walked to a nearby house. As he ap- 
proached the place a lady, seeing him coming hold- 
ing his pants up and all covered with blood, left 
her house and started to run off, as she was alone 
with a small servant girl. Bass saw she was fright- 
ened and called to her to stop, saying he was per- 
ishing for a drink of water and would return to a 
tree not far away and he down if she would only 
send him a drink. The lady sent him a quart cup 
of water, but the poor fellow was too far gone to 
drink it. We found him under this tree one hour 
later. He had a wound through the center of his 
left hand, the bullet having pierced the middle 

Bass' death wound was given him by Dick Ware, 
who used a .45 caliber Colt's long barreled six- 
shooter. The ball from Ware's pistol struck Bass' 
belt and cut two cartridges in pieces and entered 
his back just above the right hip bone. The bullet 
badly mushroomed and made a fearful wound that 
tore the victim's right kidney all to pieces. From 
the moment he was shot until his death three days 
later Bass suffered untold agonies. As he lay on 
the ground Friday night where Jackson had left him 



the wounded man tore his undershirt into more 
than one hundred pieces and wiped the blood from 
his body. 

Bass was taken to Round Rock and given the 
best of medical attention, but died the following 
day, Sunday, July 21, 1878. While he was yet able 
to talk, General Jones appealed to Bass to reveal 
to the state authorities the names of the confed- 
erates he had had that they might be apprehended. 

"Sam, you have done much evil in this world 
and have only a few hours to live. Now, while 
you have a chance to do the state some good, please 
tell me who your associates were in those viola- 
tions of the laws of your country." 

Sam replied that he could not betray his friends 
and that he might as well die with what he knew 
in him. 

Sam Bass was buried in the cemetery at Old 
Round Rock. A small monument was erected over 
his grave by a sister. Its simple inscription reads: 


Born July 21st, 1851 

Died July 21st, 1878 

A brave man reposes in death here. Why was he 

not true? 

Frank Jackson made his way back into Denton 
County and hung around some time hoping to get 



an opportunity to murder the betrayer of his chief, 
an ingrate whose cause he himself had so ably 
championed. Jackson declared if he could meet 
Jim Murphy he would kill him, cut off his head 
and carry it away in a gunny sack. 

Murphy returned to Denton, but learned that 
Jackson was hiding in the elm bottoms awaiting 
a chance to slay him. He thereupon asked per- 
mission of the sheriff to remain about the jail for 
protection. While skulking about the prison one 
of his eyes became infected. A physician gave him 
some medicine to drop into the diseased eye, at 
the same time cautioning him to be careful as the 
fluid was a deadly poison. Murphy drank the en- 
tire contents of the bottle and was dead in a few 
hours. Remorse, no doubt, caused him to end his 

Of the four men that fought the Round Rock 
battle with Sam Bass and his gang all are dead: 
General J. B. Jones, and Rangers R. C. Ware, Chris 
Connor, and George Harold. Of the ten men that 
made the long ride from San Saba to Round Rock 
only two are now alive — Lieutenant N. 0. Reynolds 
and myself. 



In the fall of 1878 a man named Dowdv moved 
from South Texas and settled on the headwaters 
of the Johnson Fork of the Guadalupe River in 
Kerr Countj T . His family consisted of himself, 
wife, three grown daughters, a grown son, and a 
young son twelve or fourteen years old. Mr. 
Dowdy owned two or three thousand sheep and 
was grazing them on some fine upland pasture just 
above his home. He contracted for his winter sup- 
ply of corn, and when the first load of grain ar- 
rived at the ranch the three girls walked out half 
a mile to where the sheep were grazing to stay 
with their younger brother while the elder returned 
to the ranch to measure and receive the corn. When 
young Mr. Dowdy returned to the sheep an hour 
later he was horrified to find that his three sisters 
and his little brother had been massacred by a 
band of roving Indians. From the signs on a high 
bluff nearby the sheep and their herders had been 
under observation by the redskins for some time 
and, seeing the only man leave, the Indians de- 
scended upon the defenseless girls and boy and 
killed them. As there was no ranger company 



within one hundred miles of Kerr County at the 
time, a party of frontiersmen quickly gathered and 
followed the murderers, but after pursuing them 
for nearly two hundred miles the posse lost the 
trail in the rough Devil's River country. 

Kerr County then called for rangers, and Gen- 
eral Jones ordered Lieutenant Reynolds to proceed 
to that county and go into camp for the winter at 
the Dowdy ranch. This descent upon the Dowdy 
family was the last raid ever made by Indians in 
Kerr County, and was perhaps the most heart- 
hending. We herded our horses that winter on 
the very ground where the unfortunate young 
Misses Dowdy and their brother were killed. At 
the time they were murdered the ground was soft 
and muddy from a recent rain, so one could see 
for months afterward where the poor girls had run 
on foot while the Indians charged on horseback. 
I remember one of the young ladies ran nearly four 
hundred yards before she was overtaken and shot 
full of arrows by a heartless redskin. These mur- 
derers were probably Kickapoos and Lipans that 
lived in the Santa Rosa Mountains, Old Mexico, and 
frequently raided Southwest Texas, stole hundreds 
of horses and killed many people. While guarding 
their horses on the ground where the Dowdy family 
was killed the ranger boys built a rock monument 



eight or ten feet high to mark the spot where the 
victims fell. 

Lieutenant Reynolds kept scouting parties in the 
field at intervals throughout the winter but, like 
lightning, Indians never strike twice in the same 
place. The winter of 1878-79 was the quietest one 
I ever spent as a ranger. Kerr County was pretty 
well cleaned of outlaws and we made fewer arrests 
that season than ever before. 

The rangers encountered but one real bad man 
in Kerr County. His name was Eli Wixon, and 
he was wanted for murder in East Texas. It was 
known that Wixon would be at the polls of the 
county precincts to vote on election day, November, 
1878, so Lieutenant Reynolds sent Corporal Warren 
and Privates Will Ranister and Abe Anglin to ar- 
rest Wixon. Corporal Warren found his man at 
the polls and lost no time in telling Wixon what 
he was there for, and ordered him to unbuckle his 
belt and drop his pistol. Wixon hesitated and 
finally called on his friends to protect him from 
the rangers. 

The crowd came to his relief, and for a time it 
looked as if there would be trouble. Wixon abused 
the rangers, called them a set of dirty dogs, and 
dared them to shoot him. Corporal Warren was 
brave and resolute. He told Wixon his abuse did 



not amount to anything; that the rangers were there 
to arrest him and were going to do it. The cor- 
poral warned the citizens to be careful how they 
broke the law and if they started anything he de- 
clared Wixon would be the first man killed. 

Then, while Banister and Anglin held the crowd 
back with their drawn Winchesters, Warren dis- 
armed Wixon, grasped his bridle reins and led him 
away without further trouble. Lieutenant Rey- 
nolds took no chances with that sort of man, and 
as soon as Wixon was in camp he was promptly 
handcuffed and shackled. This usually took the 
slack out of all so-called bad men and it worked 
like a charm with our new prisoner. 

As the winter wore on Lieutenant Reynolds, with 
but little to do, became restless. He once said of 
himself that he never had the patience to sit down 
in camp and wait for a band of Indians to raid the 
countjr so he might get a race. Action was what 
he wanted all the time, and he chaffed like a chained 
bear when compelled to sit idly in camp. 

When the Legislature met early in 1879 it was 
known that it would be difficult to get an appro- 
priation for frontier defense. From time imme- 
morial there has been an element from East Texas 
in the Legislature that has fought the ranger ap- 
propriation, and in this instance that element fought 



the ranger bill harder than ever. The fund appro- 
priated for frontier defense two years before was 
now running short and in order to make it hold 
out until it could be ascertained what the Legis- 
lature would do it became necessary for General 
Jones to order the various captains to discharge 
three men out of each company. In a week a sim- 
ilar order was promulgated, and this was kept up 
until the battalion was reduced to almost one-half 
its former strength. Lieutenant Reynolds was com- 
pelled to sit idly by and see his fine experienced 
rangers dwindle away before his eyes, and what he 
said about those short-sighted lawmakers w r ould 
not look nice in print. 

In March, 1879, Captain Pat Dolan, commander 
of Company "F," then stationed on the Nueces 
River, seventy-five miles southwest of Reynolds' 
company, wrote to Lieutenant Reynolds that a big 
band of horse and cattle thieves were reported oper- 
ating in the vicinity of the head of Devil's River 
and along the Nueces. He wished to take a month's 
scout out in that country, but since the ranger 
companies had been so reduced he did not feel 
strong enough to operate against them alone and 
leave a reserve in his own camp. He, therefore, 
asked Lieutenant Reynolds to send a detachment to 
cooperate with him. I was then second sergeant, 



and with five men I was ordered to report to Cap- 
tain Dolan for a three weeks' scout on Devil's River 
and the Pecos. I reported to the commander of 
Company "F" and we scouted up the Nueces River, 
then turned west to Reaver Lake on the head of 
Devil's River. From the lake we went over on 
Johnson's Run and covered the country thoroughly 
but without finding the reported outlaws. 

One morning after starting out on our day's 
scout Captain Dolan halted the command and, tak- 
ing with him Private Robb, went in search of water. 
A heavy fog came up after he left us and hung 
over the country the greater part of the day. The 
captain did not return to us, and Sergeant G. E. 
Chinn ordered his men to fire their guns to give 
the lost ones our position. We remained in the 
vicinity until night and then returned to Howard's 
Well, a watering place on Johnson's Run. The fol- 
lowing morning we scouted out to the point from 
which the captain had left us the day before. It 
was now clear, the sun shining brightly, but the 
lost men could not be found. Dolan was an ex- 
perienced frontiersman, and we concluded that, 
after finding himself lost in the fog, he would re- 
turn to his headquarters on the Nueces, one hun- 
dred and twenty-five miles away. Sergeant Chinn, 
therefore, headed the command for this camp, and 



when we reached it we found Captain Dolan and 
Private Robb had preceded us. They had traveled 
through a bad Indian country with nothing to eat 
but what venison they had killed. 

From Dolan's Company I marched my detail 
back to Company "E" by easy stages and reached 
our camp at Dowdy's ranch the last week in March 
with our horses ridden down. We had covered 
something like five hundred miles without accom- 
plishing anything. 

As soon as I arrived I walked up to the lieuten- 
ant's tent to make my report. I was met by First 
Sergeant C. L. Nevill, who told me that Lieutenant 
Reynolds had resigned and left the company. At 
first I thought the sergeant was only joking, but 
when I was convinced that the lieutenant had really 
gone I was shocked beyond measure. The blow 
was too strong and sudden for me, and I am not 
ashamed now at sixty-five years of age to admit 
that I slipped out of camp, sat down on the bank 
of the Guadalupe River and cried like a baby. It 
seemed as if my best friend on earth had gone for- 
ever. Reynolds had had me transferred from Cold- 
well's company to his own when I was just a strip- 
ling of a boy. As soon as I was old enough to be 
trusted with a scout of men and the vacancies oc- 
curred I was made second corporal, first corporal 



and then second sergeant. I was given the best 
men in the company and sent against the most 
noted outlaws and hardened criminals in the State 
of Texas. Lieutenant Reynolds gave me every 
chance in the world to make a name for myself, 
and now he was gone. I felt the loss keenly. I 
feel sure the records now on file in Austin will bear 
me out when I say Reynolds was the greatest cap- 
tain of his time, — and perhaps of all time. The 
State of Texas lost a matchless officer when "Mage" 
Reynolds retired to private life. After leaving the 
ranger service he made Lampasas his home and 
served that county as its sheriff for several terms. 

The Legislature finally made a small appropri- 
ation for frontier defense. Sergeant Nevill was 
ordered to report at Austin with Company "E" for 
the reorganization of the command. Reynolds' 
resignation practically broke up the company, and 
though Sergeant Nevill was made Lieutenant of 
Company "E" and afterward raised to a captaincy 
and left behind him an enviable record, yet he was 
not a "Mage" Reynolds by a long shot. 

On reaching Austin, R. C. Ware and the Ranister 
boys secured their transfers to Captain Marshes' 
Company "R," while the Carter boys, Ren and Dock, 
C. R. Connor, and Rill Derrick resigned the service 
and retired to private life. Abe Anglin became a 



policeman at Austin, Texas. Henry Maltimore and 
myself, at our requests, were transferred to Lieu- 
tenant Baylor's Company "C" for duty in El Paso 
County. With my transfer to this command the 
winter of inaction was over, and I was soon to see 
some exciting times along the upper Rio Grande. 



At the foot of the Guadalupe Mountains, one hun- 
dred miles east of El Paso, Texas, are situated sev- 
eral large salt deposits known as the Salt Lakes. 
These deposits were on public state land. For a 
hundred years or more the residents along the Rio 
Grande in El Paso County and in northern Mexico 
had hauled salt from the lakes free of charge, for 
there was no one to pay, as the deposits were not 
claimed by any owner. All one had to do was to 
back his wagon to the edge of the lake and shovel 
it full of salt and drive off. 

From San Elizario to the Salt Lakes was just 
ninety miles, and there was not a drop of water 
on the route. The road that had been traveled so 
long by big wagon trains was almost as straight 
as an arrow and in extra fine condition. The salt 
haulers would carry water in barrels to what was 
known as the Half-way Station, about forty-five 
miles from San Elizario. Here they would rest and 
water their horses and leave half their water for 
the return trip. The teamsters would then push 
on to the lakes, load their wagons, rest the teams 
a day or two, and on their return trip stop at the 




C McyL 


Half-way Station, water their animals, throw the 
empty barrels on top of the salt and, without again 
halting, continue to San Elizario on the Rio Grande. 
Charley Howard, after his election as judge of 
the El Paso District, made his home at the old town 
of Franklin, now known as El Paso. He saw the 
possibilities of these salt lakes as a money-making 
proposition and, knowing they were on public land, 
wrote his father-in-law, George Zimpleman, at 
Austin, to buy some land certificates and send them 
to him so he could locate the land covering the salt 
deposits. As soon as the land was located Judge 
Howard forbade anyone to haul salt from the lakes 
without first securing his permission. The Mexi- 
cans along both sides of the Rio Grande adjacent 
to El Paso became highly indignant at this order. 
A sub-contractor on the overland mail route be- 
tween El Paso and Fort Davis named Luis Cardis, 
supported the Mexicans and told them Howard had 
no right to stop them from hauling salt. Cardis 
was an Italian by birth, had come to El Paso County 
in 1860, married a Mexican wife, identified himself 
with the county, and become prominent as a polit- 
ical leader. He was a Republican, while Judge 
Howard was a Democrat. Cardis and Howard soon 
became bitter enemies, and in September, 1878, this 
conflict between them became so acute that Howard 



killed his opponent with a double-barreled shotgun 
in S. Shultz and Brothers' store in Franklin. This 
at once precipitated the contest known as the Salt 
Lake War, for grave threats were made against 
Howard by the Mexicans. 

After killing Cardis, Judge Howard fled to New 
Mexico, and from his seclusion in that state he 
called on the governor of Texas to send rangers 
to El Paso to protect him and the courts over which 
he presided. At that time not a company of the 
Frontier Battalion was within five hundred miles 
of that town. El Paso was seven hundred and fifty 
miles by stage from San Antonio or Austin and 
the journey required about seven days and nights' 
travel over a dangerous route — an unusually hard 
trip on any passenger attempting it. 

The governor of Texas, therefore, sent Major 
John B. Jones from Austin to Topeka, Kansas, by 
rail and thence as far west into New Mexico as the 
Santa Fe Railroad ran at that time, and thence by 
stage down to El Paso. Major Jones dropped into 
the old town of Franklin (now El Paso) unheralded 
and unknown. He sat about the hotel and gained 
the information he needed, then made himself 
known to the authorities and proceeded at once to 
organize and equip a company of twenty rangers. 
John B. Tays, brother to the Episcopal minister of 



that district, was made lieutenant of the new com- 
mand, which was known as a detachment of Com- 
pany "C" and stationed in the old town of San 
Elizario, twenty-five miles southeast of El Paso. 

Soon after this detachment of rangers had been 
authorized, Judge Howard appeared at San Elizario 
and sought protection with it. No sooner had it 
become known that Judge Howard was back in 
Texas than the ranger company was surrounded 
by a cordon of armed Mexicans, two or three hun- 
dred in number, who demanded the body of the 
jurist. Lieutenant Tays refused to surrender How- 
ard, and the fighting began, and was kept up two 
or three days at intervals. Sergeant Maltimore, in 
passing through the court yard of the buildings in 
which the rangers were quartered was shot down 
and killed by Mexican snipers located on top of 
some adobe buildings within range of the quarters. 
Then an American citizen, a Mr. Ellis, was killed 
near Company "C's" camp. 

After several days of desultory fighting, the lead- 
ers of the mob, under flag of truce, sought an inter- 
view with Lieutenant Tays. The lieutenant finally 
agreed to meet two of the leaders, and while the 
parley was in progress armed Mexicans one at a 
time approached the peace party until forty or fifty 
had quietly surrounded Lieutenant Tays and put 



him at their mercy. The mob then boldly de- 
manded the surrender of the ranger company, 
Judge Howard, and two other Americans, Adkin- 
son and McBride, friends of the judge, that had 
sought protection with them. 

There is no doubt that the Mexicans intimidated 
Lieutenant Tays after he was in their hands and 
probably threatened him with death unless their 
demands were granted. The lieutenant returned 
to the ranger camp with the mob and said, "Boys, 
it is all settled. You are to give up your arms and 
horses and you will be allowed to go free." 

The rangers were furious at this surrender, but 
were powerless to help themselves, for the mob had 
swarmed in upon them from all sides. Billie Marsh, 
one of the youngest men in the company, was so 
indignant that he cried out to his commander, "The 
only difference between you and a skunk is that 
the skunk has a white streak down his back!" 

Judge Howard, seeing the handwriting on the 
wall, began shaking hands and bidding his ranger 
friends goodbye. As soon as the Mexicans had 
gotten possession of the rangers' arms they threw 
ropes over the heads of Howard, McBride and Ad- 
kinson. Then, mounting fast running ponies, they 
dragged the unfortunate men to death in the streets 
of San Elizario and cast their mutilated bodies into 



pososas or shallow wells. The Mexicans then dis- 
appeared, most of them crossing the Rio Grande 
into Mexico. 

Lieutenant Tays at once resigned as commander 
of the rangers, and Private Charles Ludwick was 
made first sergeant and placed in charge of the com- 
pany until the governor of Texas could send a com- 
missioned officer to take command of it. Had Lieu- 
tenant Tays held out twenty-four hours longer, a 
thing which he could easily have done, he would 
have escaped the disgrace and mortification of sur- 
rendering himself and his company to a mob of 
Mexicans, for within that time John Ford with a 
band of New Mexico cowboys swept into the Rio 
Grande valley to relieve the besieged rangers. On 
learning of the fates of Howard, McRride, Adkin- 
son, Ellis, and Sergeant Maltimore, the rescue party 
raided up and down the valley from San Elizario 
to El Paso and killed several armed Mexicans ac- 
cused of being part of the mob that had murdered 
the Americans. The present battalion of Texas 
Rangers was organized May 1, 1874, and in all their 
forty-six years of service this surrender of Lieu- 
tenant Tays was the only black mark ever chalked 
up against it. 

Afterward, when I arrived in El Paso with Lieu- 
tenant Raylor I had many talks with Privates 



George Lloyd. Dr. Shivers, Bill Rutherford, and San- 
tiago Cooper, — all members of Tays ? company — 
and most of them believed Lieutenant Tays had a 
streak of yellow in him, while a few thought he 
made a mistake in agreeing to an interview with 
the mob, thereby allowing himself to be caught 
napping and forced to surrender. 

Conditions in El Paso County were now so bad 
that Lieutenant Baylor was ordered into the coun- 
try to take command of the ranger company. Be- 
fore leaving to assume his command, Lieutenant 
Baylor was called to Austin from his home in San 
Antonio and had a lengthy interview with Governor 
Roberts. Bavlor was instructed by his excellency 
to use all diplomacy possible to reconcile the two 
factions and settle the Salt Lake War peaceably. 
The governor held that both sides to the contro- 
versy were more or less to blame, and what had 
been done could not be undone, and the restoration 
of order was the prime requisite rather than a puni- 
tive expedition against the mob members. 

On July 28. 1879, Private Henry Maltimore and 
myself reached San Antonio from Austin and pre- 
sented our credentials to Lieutenant Baylor, who 
thereupon advised us that he had selected August 
2nd as the day to begin his march from San Antonio 
to El Paso County. In his camp on the San Antonio 



River in the southern part of the city the lieutenant 
had mustered myself as sergeant, and Privates 
Henry Maltimore, Dick Head, Gus Small, Gus Krim- 
kau, and George Harold. 

Early on the morning of August 2, 1879, our tiny 
detachment left San Antonio on our long journey. 
One wagon carried a heavy, old-fashioned square 
piano, and on top of this was loaded the lieutenant's 
household goods. At the rear of the wagon was a 
coop of game chickens, four hens and a cock, for 
Lieutenant Baylor was fond of game chickens as 
a table delicacy, though he never fought them. His 
family consisted of Mrs. Baylor, two daughters — 
Helen, aged fourteen, and Mary, a child of four or 
five years — and Miss Kate Sydnor, sister of Mrs. 
Baylor. The children and ladies traveled in a large 
hack drawn by a pair of mules. Rations for men 
and horses were hauled in a two-mule wagon, while 
the rangers rode on horseback in advance of the 
hack and wagons. Two men traveling to New Mex- 
ico in a two-wheeled cart asked permission to travel 
with us for protection. Naturally we made slow 
progress with this unique combination. As well 
as I can remember, 1879 was a rather dry year, for 
not a drop of rain fell upon us during thyis seven 
hundred-mile journey. When we passed Fort 
Clark, in Kinney County, and reached Devil's River 



we were on the real frontier and liable to attack 
by Indians at any time. It was necessary, therefore, 
to keep a strong guard posted at all times. 

Around our camp fires at night Lieutenant Baylor 
entertained us with accounts of early days on the 
frontier. He was born August 24, 1832, at old 
Fort Gibson in the Cherokee nation, now the State 
of Oklahoma. His father, John Walker Baylor, 
was a surgeon in the United States Army. Lieu- 
tenant Baylor was a soldier by training and by in- 
heritance. In 1879 he was in his forty-seventh 
year and stood six feet two inches tall, a perfect 
specimen of a hardy frontiersman. He was highly 
educated, wrote much for papers and magazines, 
was a fluent speaker and a very interesting talker 
and story-teller. He was less reserved than any 
captain under whom I ever served. He had taken 
part in many Indian fights on the frontier of Texas, 
and his descriptions of some of his experiences 
were thrilling. Lieutenant Baylor was a high-toned 
Christian gentleman and had been a member of the 
Episcopal Church from childhood. In all the 
months I served with him I never heard him utter 
an oath or tell a smutty yarn. He neither drank 
whisky nor used tobacco. Had he written a his- 
tory of his operations on the frontier and a biog- 



raphy of himself it would have been one of the 
strangest and most interesting books ever written. 

I have not the power of language to describe 
Lieutenant Baylor's bravery, because he was as 
brave as it is possible for man to be. He thought 
everyone else should be the same. He did not see 
how a white man could be a coward, yet in a fierce 
battle fought with Apache Indians on October 5. 
1879. I saw some of his rangers refuse to budge 
when called upon to charge up a mountainside and 
assault the redskins concealed above us in some 
rocks. George Harold, one of the attacking party, 
said. "Lieutenant, if we charge up that hill over 
open ground every one of us will be killed." 

"Yes. I suppose you are right." declared Baylor, 
a contemptuous smile on his face. Then, pointing 
to some Mexicans hidden behind some boulders 
below us. he added. "You had better go back to 
them. That is where you belong." 

Lieutenant Baylor was as tender hearted as a 
little child and would listen to any tale of woe. 
He frequently took men into the service, stood good 
for their equipment and often had to pay the bill 
out of his own pocket. All men looked alike to 
him and he "would enlist anyone when there was a 
vacancy in the company. The result was that some 
of the worst San Simone Valley rustlers got into 



the command and gave us no end of trouble, nearly 
causing one or two killings in our camp. 

Baylor cared nothing for discipline in the com- 
pany. He allowed his men to march carelessly. 
A scout of ten or fifteen men would sometimes be 
strung out a mile or more on the march. I sup- 
pose to one who had commanded a regiment dur- 
ing the Civil War a detachment of Texas Rangers 
looked small and insignificant, so he let his men 
have pretty much their own way. To a man like 
myself, who had been schooled under such cap- 
tains as Major Jones, Captain Coldwell, Captain 
Roberts, and Lieutenant Reynolds, commanders 
who were always careful of the disposition and 
conduct of their men, this method of Baylor's 
seemed suicidal. It just seemed inevitable that we 
would some time be taken by surprise and shot 
to pieces. 

Another peculiarity of this wonderful man was 
his indifference to time. He would strike an In- 
dian trail, take his time and follow it to the jump- 
ing off place. He would say, "There is no use to 
hurry, boys. We will catch them after a while." 
For instance, the stage driver and passenger killed 
in Quitman Canyon, January, 1880, had been dead 
two weeks before the lieutenant returned from a 
scout out in the Guadalupe Mountains. He at once 



directed me to make a detail of all except three men 
in camp, issue ten days' rations, and have the men 
ready to move early next morning. An orderly or 
first sergeant is hardly ever called upon to scout 
unless he so desires, but the lieutenant said, "You 
had better come along, Sergeant. You may get an- 
other chance to kill an Indian." It seemed unrea- 
sonable to think he could start two weeks behind 
a bunch of Indians, follow up and annihilate the 
whole band, but he did. Give Comanches or Kiowas 
two weeks' start and they would have been in Can- 
ada, but the Apaches were slow and a different 
proposition with which to deal. 

Baylor was one of the very best shots with fire- 
arms I ever saw. He killed more game than al- 
most the entire company put together. When we 
first went out to El Paso he used a Winchester rifle, 
but after the first Indian fight he concluded it was 
too light and discarded it for a Springfield sporting 
rifle 45-70. He always used what he called rest 
sticks; that is, two sticks about three feet long the 
size of one's little finger. These were tied together 
about four or five inches from one end with a buck- 
skin thong. In shooting he would squat down, ex- 
tend the sticks arm's length out in front of him 
with the longer ends spread out tripod-fashion on 
the ground. With his gun resting in the fork he 



had a perfect rest and could make close shots at 
long range. The lieutenant always carried these 
sticks in his hand and used them on his horse as 
a quirt. In those days I used to pride myself on 
my shooting with a Winchester, but I soon found 
that Lieutenant Baylor had me skinned a mile when 
it came to killing game at long distance. I never 
could use rest sticks, for I always forgot them and 
shot offhand. 

I cannot close this description of Lieutenant Bay- 
lor without mentioning his most excellent wife, who 
made the long, tedious journey from San Antonio 
to El Paso County with us. She was Sallie Gar- 
land Sydnor, born February 11, 1842. Her father 
was a wholesale merchant at Galveston, and at one 
time mayor of that city. Mrs. Baylor was highly 
educated and a very refined woman and a skillful 
performer on the piano. Her bright, sunny dis- 
position and kind heart won her friends among the 
rangers at once. How sad it is to reflect that of 
the twelve persons in that little party that marched 
out of San Antonio on August 2, 1879, only three 
are living: Gus Small, Miss Mary Baylor, and 

When we had passed Pecan Springs on Devil's 
River there was not another cattle, sheep or goat 
ranch until we reached Fort Stockton, two hundred 



miles to the west. It was just one vast uninhab- 
ited country. Today it is all fenced and thousands 
of as fine cattle, sheep and goats as can be found 
in any country roam those hills. The Old Spanish 
Trail traverses most of this section, and in travel- 
ing over it today one will meet hundreds of people 
in high powered automobiles where forty years ago 
it was dangerous for a small party of well armed 
men to journey. While ascending Devil's River I 
learned that Lieutenant Baylor was not only a good 
hunter, but a first class fisherman as well, for he 
kept the entire camp well supplied with fine bass 
and perch, some of the latter being as large as 

Forty miles west of Beaver Lake we reached 
Howard's Well, situated in Howard's Draw, a trib- 
utary of the Pecos River. Here we saw the burned 
ruins of a wagon train that had been attacked by 
Indians a few months before. All the mules had 
been captured, the teamsters killed and the train 
of sixteen big wagons burned. Had the same In- 
dians encountered our little party of ten men, two 
women and two children we would all have been 

Finally we reached old Fort Lancaster, an aban- 
doned government post, situated on the east bank 
of Live Oak Creek, just above the point where this 



beautiful stream empties into the Pecos. We 
camped here and rested under the shade of those 
big old live oak trees for several days. From this 
camp we turned north up the Pecos, one of the 
most curious rivers in Texas. At that time and 
before its waters were much used for irrigation in 
New Mexico, the Pecos ran bank full of muddy 
water almost the year round. Not more than thirty 
or forty feet wide, it was the most crooked stream 
in the world, and though only from four to ten 
feet deep, was so swift and treacherous that it was 
most difficult to ford. However, it had one real 
virtue; it was the best stream in Texas for both 
blue and yellow catfish that ranged in weight from 
five to forty pounds. We were some days travel- 
ing up this river to the pontoon crossing and we 
feasted on fish. 

At Pontoon Crossing on the Pecos we intercepted 
the overland mail route leading from San Antonio 
to El Paso by way of Fredericksburg, Fort Mason, 
Menard, Fort McKavett, Fort Concho, Fort Stock- 
ton, and Fort Davis, thence west by Eagle Springs 
through Quitman Canyon, where more tragedies 
and foul murders have been committed by Indians 
than at any other point on the route. Ben Fricklin 
was the mail contractor. The stage stands were 
built of adobe and on the same unchanging plan. 



On each side of the entrance was a large room. The 
gateway opened into a passageway, which was 
roofed, and extended from one room to the other. 
In the rear of the rooms was the corral, the walls 
of which were six to eight feet high and two feet 
thick, also of sun dried brick. One room was vised 
for cooking and eating and the other for sleeping 
quarters and storage. The stage company furnished 
the stage tender with supplies and he cooked for 
the passengers when there were such, charging 
them fifty cents per meal, which he was allowed 
to retain for his compensation. 

When the stage rolled into the station the tender 
swung open the gates and the teams, small Spanish 
mules, dashed into the corral. The animals were 
gentle enough when once in the enclosure, but mean 
and as wild as deer when on the road. The stage 
company would buy these little mules in lots of 
fifty to a hundred in Mexico and distribute them 
along the route. The tiny animals were right off 
the range and real unbroken bronchos. The mules 
were tied up or tied down as the case might be and 
harnessed by force. When they had been hitched 
to the stage coach or buckboard the gates to the 
corral were opened and the team left on the run. 
The intelligent mules soon learned all they had to 
do was to run from one station to the next, and 



could not be stopped between posts no matter what 
happened. Whenever they saw a wagon or a man 
on horseback approaching along the road they 
would shy around the stranger, and the harder the 
driver held them the faster they ran. 

On our way out our teams were pretty well 
fagged out, and often Lieutenant Baylor would 
camp within a few yards of the road. The Spanish 
stage mules would see our camp and go around 
us on the run while their drivers would curse and 
call us all the vile names they could lay their tongues 
to for camping in the road. 

When we camped at a station it was amusing to 
me to watch the stage attendants harness those wary 
little animals. The stage or buckboard was always 
turned round in the corral and headed toward the 
next station and the passengers seated themselves 
before the mules were hitched. When all was ready 
and the team harnessed the driver would give the 
word, the station keeper threw open the gates and 
the stage was off on a dead run. 

There should be a monument erected to the 
memory of those old stage drivers somewhere along 
this overland route, for they were certainly the 
bravest of the brave. It took a man with lots of 
nerve and strength to be a stage driver in the In- 
dian days, and many, many of them were killed. 



The very last year, 1880, that the stage line was 
kept up several drivers were killed between Fort 
Davis and El Paso. Several of these men quit the 
stage company and joined Lieutenant Baylor's com- 
pany, and every one of such ex-drivers made excel- 
lent rangers. 

From Pontoon Crossing on the Pecos River we 
turned due west and traveled the stage route the 
remainder of the way to El Paso County. At Fort 
Stockton we secured supplies for ourselves and feed 
for our horses, the first place at which rations could 
be secured since leaving Fort Clark. Fort Stockton 
was a large military post and was quite lively, 
especially at night, when the saloons and gambling 
halls were crowded with soldiers and citizen con- 
tractors. At Leon Holes, ten miles west of Fort 
Stockton, we were delayed a week because of Mrs. 
Baylor becoming suddenly ill. Passing through 
Wild Rose Pass and up Limpia Canyon we suffered 
very much from the cold, though it was only the 
last of August. Coming from a lower to a higher 
altitude we felt the change at night keenly. That 
was the first cold weather I had experienced in the 

Finally, on the 12th day of September, 1879, we 
landed safe and sound in the old town of Ysleta, 
El Paso County, after forty-two days of travel from 



San Antonio. Here we met nine men, the remnant 
of Lieutenant Tays' Company "C" rangers. The 
first few days after our arrival were spent in secur- 
ing quarters for Lieutenant Baylor's family and in 
reorganizing the company. Sergeant Ludwick was 
discharged at his own request, and I was made first 
sergeant, Tom Swilling second sergeant, John Sea- 
born first corporal, and George Lloyd second cor- 
poral. The company was now recruited up to its 
limit of twenty men. Before winter Lieutenant 
Baylor bought a fine home and fifteen or twenty 
acres of land from a Mr. Blanchard. The rangers 
were quartered comfortably in some adobe build- 
ings with fine corrals nearby and within easy dis- 
tance of the lieutenant's residence. We were now 
ready for adventure on the border. 

When we arrived at Ysleta the Salt Lake War 
had quieted down and order had been restored. 
Although nearly a hundred Mexicans were indicted 
by the El Paso grand jury, no one was ever pun- 
ished for the murder of Judge Howard and his 
companions. In going over the papers of Sergeant 
Ludwick I found warrants for the arrest of fifty 
or more of the mob members. Though most of 
the murderers had fled to Old Mexico immediately 
after the killing of the Americans, most of them 
had returned to the United States and their homes 



along the Rio Grande. I reported these warrants 
to Lieutenant Baylor and informed him that, with 
the assistance of a strong body of rangers I could 
probably capture most of the offenders in a swift 
raid down the valley. The lieutenant declared that 
he hacl received instructions from Governor Roberts 
to exercise extreme care not to precipitate more 
trouble over Howard's death, and, above all things, 
not incite a race war between the Mexican offenders 
and the white people of the country. He decided, 
therefore, that we had better not make any move 
at all in the now dead Salt Lake War. And of 
course I never again mentioned the matter to him. 
Though the Salt Lake War was over, new and 
adventurous action was in store for us, and within 
less than a month after our arrival in Ysleta we had 
our first brush with the Apaches, a tribe of Indians 
I had never before met in battle. 





On October 5, 1879, at midnight, Pablo Mejia 
brought Lieutenant Baylor, from Captain Gregorio 
Garcia of San Elizario, a note stating that a band 
of Apaches had charged a camp of five Mexicans 
who were engaged in cutting hay for the stage com- 
pany fourteen miles north of La Quadria stage 
station and killed them. As first sergeant I was 
ordered to make a detail of ten men and issue them 
five days' rations. I detailed Second Sergeant Tom 
Swilling, Privates Gus Small, George Lloyd, John 
Thomas, George Harold, Doc Shivers, Richard 
Head, Bill Rutherford, and Juan Garcia for the 
scout, and myself made the tenth man. It required 
an hour to arouse the men, issue the rations and 
ammunition and pack the two mules, so it was 1 
o'clock a. m. when we finally left Ysleta. 

By daylight we reached Hawkins Station, near 
where Fabins Station now is. Here we were told 
we would find the survivor of the terrible massacre. 
Riding up to the door of the stage house we had 
to thump some time before we had evidence that 
anyone was alive on the premises. Finally the 
door opened about an inch very cautiously and a 



Mexican peeped out. Lieutenant Baylor asked him 
if he had been one of the grameros or hay cutters. 

"Si, senor," replied the sleepy Mexican. 

Asked for an account of the massacre, the native 
said it was nearly dark when the Indians, number- 
ing from twenty-five to fifty, charged the camp and 
uttered such horrid yells that everyone took to his 
heels and was soon in the chaparral. The speaker 
saw his pobrecita papa (poor papa) running, with 
the Indians about to lance him, and knew that he 
and the remainder of the party were killed. He 
himself only escaped. As he mentioned the tragic 
death of his beloved parent the tears rolled down 
his cheeks. Lieutenant Baylor comforted the 
weeper as best he could and asked if the Mexican 
would not guide the rangers to the raided camp, 
but the survivor declined with thanks, saying he 
must stay to help the station keeper take care of 
the stage mules, but he directed us to the ranch 
where some of the dead men's families lived and 
at which a guide could be obtained. 

When we arrived at the ranch below Hawkins 
Station it was sunrise and we halted for breakfast 
after a night ride of forty miles. The people at 
the ranch were very uneasy when we rode up, but 
were rejoiced when they realized we were Texas 
Rangers and learned our mission. They showed us 



every attention. Among the first to come out to us 
was an old Mexican who had been in the hay camp 
when it was attacked. He gave a lurid account of 
the onset. His son had been one of the grameros, 
and when he mentioned this the tears began to 

"Ah, hijo de mi cara Juan. I shall never see him 
again," he lamented. "All were killed and I alone 
escaped l" 

Lieutenant Baylor then explained to the weeping 
father that his son was very much alive and that 
we had seen him that very night bewailing the 
death of the father he thought killed. And it now 
developed that all the dead men were alive! When 
the camp was attacked each Mexican had scattered, 
and the Apaches had been too busy looting the 
stores to follow the fugitives. Moreover;, those 
ranchers would fight and the Indians did not care 
to follow them into the brush. 

A bright young Mexican went with us to the hay 
camp, which was about six miles toward Comales, 
where Don Juan Armendaris now has a cow ranch. 
The Apaches had made a mess of things in camp 
sure enough. They had broken all the cups and 
plates, poured salt into the sugar, this combination 
into the flour and beans and the conglomeration of 
the whole on the ground, as the sacks were all they 



wanted. The Indians smashed the coffee pot, the 
frying pan, the skillet and the water barrels with 
an ax. Then taking all the blankets, the raiders 
started eastward as though they intended to go to 
the Sierra Priela, but after going a mile the trail 
turned south. We found the redskins had come 
from the north by way of Los Cormuros and were 
probably from Fort Stanton, New Mexico, on their 
way to raid Old Mexico. They were in a dry coun- 
try and making for the Rio Grande, fourteen miles 
to the south. When they discovered the hay camp 
on their route they charged it and fired on the hay 
cutters. The Mexicans scattered and made their 
escape in the darkness, each thinking himself the 
sole survivor and so reporting on reaching his home, 
though as a matter of fact not a single lif e was lost. 
Our guide went back to give the alarm to the 
ranches below and we followed the trail down the 
mesa until opposite Guadalupe. There we crossed 
the overland stage route near the present Rio 
Grande Station and found our guide waiting for 
us. He had discovered the trail, and fearing the 
Indians might ambush the road below, he had 
awaited our arrival. The trail made straight for 
the Rio Grande, crossing about one mile west of 
the Mexican town of Guadalupe. From the pony 
and mule tracks Lieutenant Baylor judged there 



were fifteen to twenty Indians in the band. We had 
some trouble following the trail after we got to 
the river bottom, where loose horses and cattle ran, 
but a few of us dismounted and worked the trail 
out, crossed the river and struck camp for dinner. 

Lieutenant Baylor sent Pablo Mejia into town to 
inform the president of Guadalupe that we had 
followed a fresh Apache trail to the Rio Grande 
going south into Mexico, and asked permission to 
follow the Indians into his country. The scout soon 
returned and reported that the president was not 
only pleased that we had pursued the redskins, but 
would willingly join us himself with all the men he 
could muster. Just after we crossed the river we 
came across a Mexican herder with a flock of goats. 
As soon as he heard we were trailing the Apaches 
he began yelling at the top of his voice and soon 
had the goats on the jump for town, though the 
Indians had passed the night before. We were 
quickly in saddle again, and as we rode into the 
pueblo we were kindly received by the people. We 
found a mare the Apaches had killed just on the 
edge of town and from which they had taken some 
of the choice steaks. 

After leaving Guadalupe the trail went south, 
following closely the stage road from Juarez to 
Chihuahua. Not long after leaving town we met 



a courier coming to Guadalupe from Don Ramon 
Arrandas' ranch, San Marcos de Cantarica, twenty- 
one miles distant, who informed us that the Apaches 
had killed a herder on that ranch and had taken 
four horses and sixteen mules of the stage company. 
We hurried onward and reached Cantarica at sun- 
set, having traveled seventy-eight miles since 1 a. m. 
that morning. Both men and horses were rather 

All was confusion at the ranch. The Mexican 
herder had been shrouded and laid out with a cross 
at his head and several little lighted candles near 
the body. Many women were sitting around the 
room with black shawls pulled up over their heads. 
The Apaches, numbering sixteen well armed and 
well mounted warriors, had slain their victim and 
captured the stock near the ranch just about noon. 
Mexican volunteers from Guadalupe and San Ig- 
nacio began to ride in until our combined force 
numbered twenty-five or twenty-six men. Every- 
one was excited at the thought of a brush with the 
redskins responsible for the murder. 

Accompanied by our volunteer allies we left the 
ranch at daylight next morning and picked up the 
trail at once. It led off south along the base of the 
Armagora Mountains or Sierra Bentanos. As the 
Mexicans were familiar with the country they took 



the lead and followed the trail rapidly. About 11 
o'clock the trailers halted at the mouth of the 
Canyon del Moranos, an ugly black hole cut in the 
mountains, looking grim and defiant enough with- 
out the aid of Apache warriors. When we had 
joined the Mexicans — we were traveling some half 
a mile behind them — Lieutenant Baylor and Captain 
Garcia held a short conference. The lieutenant 
turned to me and said that Captain Garcia declared 
the Indians were in the canyon among the rocks, 
and ordered me to detail two men to guard our 
horses while we scaled the mountain on foot and 
investigated it. I could not bring myself to be- 
lieve that a band of Indians that had killed a man 
and driven off all the stage stock the day before 
had gone only thirty miles and was now lying in 
wait for us. 

"You don't know the Apaches," Lieutenant Baylor 
declared when I voiced my thoughts. "They are 
very different from the plains Indians, the kind you 
have been used to following. These Apaches de- 
light to get into the rocks and lay for their enemies." 

At the conference the Mexicans suggested that 
Lieutenant Baylor should take nine of his men and 
ten of their volunteers and follow the trail up the 
canyon, but the lieutenant declared that this would 
never do, as the Apaches had no doubt anticipated 



just such a move and hidden themselves in the 
cliffs where they could kill their attackers without 
exposing themselves in the least. He proposed 
scaling the mountain and following them down on 
top of the ridge in the Indians' rear. And this was 
the strategy finally adopted. 

The Mexicans dismounted and started up the 
mountainside about one hundred yards to our left. 
Lieutenant Baylor and his eight rangers marched 
straight forward from our horses and began the 
ascent. As we went along the lieutenant pulled 
some bunch grass and stuck it all around under his 
hat band so his head would look like a clump of 
grass and conceal his head and body if he should 
have to flatten himself on the ground. He coun- 
selled us to follow his example. I had taken some 
Mexican cheese out of my saddle pockets and was 
eating it as we marched carelessly up the mountain. 
Honestly, I did not believe there was an Indian 
within a hundred miles of us, but it was not long 
before I changed my mind. Suddenly there came 
a loud report of a gun and then another. I looked 
up to where the Mexicans had taken position behind 
a ledge of rocks and saw where a bullet struck the 
stones a foot above their heads. I did not want 
any more cheese. I threw down what I had in 
my hand and spat out what I had in my mouth. 



These old Apache warriors, high in the cliffs 
above us, then turned their attention to our little 
band of eight rangers and fired twenty-five or thirty 
shots right into the midst of us. One of these big 
caliber bullets whizzed so close to my head that it 
made a noise like a wild duck makes when flying 
down stream at the rate of fifty to sixty miles an 
hour. Lieutenant Baylor ordered us to charge at 

In running up the mountain I was somewhat in 
advance of the boys. We came to a rock ledge 
three or four feet high. I quickly scaled this, but 
before I could straighten up an Indian rose from 
behind a rock about fifteen to twenty yards ahead 
and fired point-blank at me. The bullet struck a 
small soap weed three feet in front of me and 
knocked the leaves into my mouth and face. I felt 
as if I had been hit but it was leaves and not blood 
that I wiped out of my mouth with my left hand. 
I turned my head and called to the boys to look 
out, but the warning was unnecessary, — they had 
already taken shelter under the ledge of rock. 

Just as I turned my head a second shot from the 
Apache carried away the entire front part of my 
hat brim. I saw the warrior throw another cart- 
ridge in his gun and brought my Winchester quickly 
to bear upon him. When he saw that I was about 



to shoot he shifted his position and turned side- 
ways to me. We both fired at the same instant. 
My bullet hit the redskin just above his hip and, 
passing straight through his body, broke the small 
of his back and killed him almost instantly. This 
old brave was a big man, probably six feet tall, 
with his face painted in red and blue paint. He 
used an old octagon barrel Winchester rifle and he 
had with him an old shirtsleeve tied at one end in 
which were two hundred and fifty Winchester 

Some Indians fifty yards up the mountain now 
began to shell our position, so I took shelter behind 
the ledge of rock. Fifteen or twenty feet to our 
left and a little higher up the mountain, Lieutenant 
Baylor was sheltered behind some boulders. He 
raised his head slightly above his parapet for a peep 
at the Indians and those keen sighted warriors saw 
him; a well directed shot cut part of the grass out 
of his hat. Had the bullet been six inches lower 
it would have struck him full in the face. 

"Darn that old Indian," exclaimed Baylor, duck- 
ing his head. "If I had a shot gun I would run up 
and jump right on top of him." 

The lieutenant was mad now and ordered a 
charge. The boys hesitated, and George Harold, 
an old scout, said, "Lieutenant, if we leave this 



shelter and start up the mountain the Indians hid- 
den behind those rocks seventy-five yards above 
will kill us all." 

"Yes, I suppose you are right; they would be hard 
to dislodge," replied Baylor. 

The Apaches evidently had plenty of ammunition, 
as they kept up a desultory fire all day. Seeing we 
were not going to fall into their trap they turned 
their attention to our horses. Although the ani- 
mals were four or five hundred yards from the foot 
of the mountain they killed Sergeant Swilling's 
horse, the bullet passing entirely through the body 
just behind the shoulders. When his horse, a large 
white one, staggered and tumbled over, Swilling 
began to mourn, for he had the horror of walking 
all Western men have. John Thomas, however, got 
the laugh on him by saying, "Sergeant, you had bet- 
ter wait and see if you are going back to camp." 
We could see the Indians' bullets knocking up dust 
all around the horses and the guard replying to the 
fire. Baylor now sent a man and had the guard 
move the horses out of range. 

During the afternoon the Apaches moved up 
higher toward the crest of the mountain, and in 
doing so one of the Indians exposed himself. The 
Mexicans to our left spotted him and killed him 
with a well directed shot. The warrior fell out in 



open ground where he was literally shot all to 

We had been without water all day and when 
night came Lieutenant Baylor and Captain Garcia 
decided it was useless to continue the fight any 
longer, so we withdrew toward our horses. After 
reaching the animals we could still hear the Indians 
firing on our positions. We might have captured 
the Apaches' horses by a charge, but we would have 
had to go down the side of the mountain and across 
a deep canyon where we would have been com- 
pelled to pick our way slowly under a constant 
cross fire from the concealed riflemen, and neither 
Baylor nor Garcia thought the horses worth the 
sacrifice required to capture them. 

As the nearest water was thirty miles away and 
our men and horses weary and thirsty, we rode 
back to our hospitable friend, Don Ramon Arrandas' 
ranch, where our horses were fed and we ourselves 
supplied with fresh milk and cheese. On our re- 
turn to Guadalupe we were most kindly entertained 
by Mr. Maximo Arrandas, custom house officer at 
San Elizario, and brother to Don Ramon. We 
reached our headquarters at Ysleta after being out 
five days and traveling two hundred and twenty-two 
miles, sustaining no other damage than a few 



bruises from scaling the mountain and the loss of 
Sergeant Swilling's horse. This first brush with 
Apaches, however, was but a prelude to other ex- 
peditions after this tribe, and we were soon hot 
on the trail of Victorio, the Apache Napoleon. 



About a month after our first brush with Apaches, 
during November, 1879, Chief Victorio quit the 
Mescalero Reservation and with a party of one hun- 
dred and twenty-five warriors and a hundred women 
and children, traveled south into Mexico on a raid. 
This old chief was probably the best general ever 
produced by the Apache tribe. He was a far better 
captain than old Geronimo ever was and capable 
of commanding a much larger force of men. His 
second in command was Nana, also a very able 

Victorio knew every foot of the country and just 
where to find wood, water, grass and abundance of 
game, so he took his time and, coming from New 
Mexico down into the state of Chihuahua, stopped 
first at the Santa Maria. The country about this 
stream is very mountainous, especially to the south, 
and here he could find refuge in case of an attack 
from Mexican soldiers. Of this, however, there was 
not much danger at that time, for the country was 
thinly settled, farming and stock raising being con- 
fined to the neighborhood of the small towns. 
Gradually Chief Victorio moved down into the Can- 



delaria Mountains, approaching them from the 
northwest. Here he could get fresh range for his 
large band of horses and be near the settlement of 
San Jose, owned by Don Mariano Samaniego. Here, 
also, he could watch the public road between Chi- 
huahua and El Paso del Norte, the present Juarez. 
One of the saddest and most heartrending trag- 
edies resulted from this move. Victorio was 
camped at the large tanks on the north side and 
almost on top of the Candelaria Mountains, where 
he had fine range for his stock and plenty of game 
and wood. From those almost inaccessible peaks 
he could see for twenty or thirty miles in every 
direction and watch every move of travelers or 
hostile forces. The old chief now sent a small 
band of Indians, some six or seven in number, on 
a raid against the little settlement of San Jose. 
Here the Indians stole a bunch of Mexican ponies 
and hurried back to their camp on top of the Can- 
delaria Mountains. The citizens of San Jose dis- 
covered the loss of their ponies, and on examining 
the trail, found there was* only a small band of In- 
dians in the raiding party. A company of the prin- 
cipal Mexicans of San Jose, under the command of 
Don Jose Rodriguez, and augmented by volunteers 
from the little town of Carrajal, left to locate the 
Indians and recover the stolen horses. The little 



band of fifteen brave men went to the northern side 
of the mountains and struck the trail of Victorio's 
band on an old beaten route used by the Indians, 
which passed from the Santa Maria River to the 
Candelaria Mountains. This road wound between 
two rocky peaks and then down the side of the 
hills to the plain between them and the Candelaria, 
ending at last at the big tank. 

From his position on the tall peaks Victorio had 
seen the little body of Mexicans long before they 
struck his trail and, knowing they would never come 
upon the Candelaria after seeing the size of his 
trail, sent forty or fifty of his warriors to form an 
ambuscade where the trail crosses the crest be- 
tween the two peaks. He must have been with the 
braves himself, for the thing was skillfully planned 
and executed. On the north side of the trail there 
were only a few boulders, but on the south the 
hills were very broken, rising in rough tiers of 
stones. The Apaches hid in these rocks and awaited 
their victims. On November 7, 1879, the Mexicans 
entered the narrow defile and as soon as they were 
between the two parties of Indians concealed on 
each side of the pass the Apaches on the north side 
of the trail fired a volley upon them. The Mexicans 
thereupon made for the rocks on the south, as was 
natural. As they sought refuge there the redskins 



in the cliffs above the gallant little band opened 
fire on them. Caught in a real death trap the entire 
punitive force was massacred. When I walked over 
the ground some time afterward I saw where one 
Mexican had gotten into a crevice from which he 
could shoot anyone coming at him from the east 
or west. He was hidden also from the Indians in 
the cliffs above him, but his legs were exposed to 
the warriors on the north side and they had liter- 
ally shot them off up to his knees. I also found 
seven dead Mexicans in a small gulley, and on a 
little peak above them I discovered the lair of one 
old Indian who had fired twenty-seven shots at the 
tiny group until he had killed them all, for I found 
that number of 45-70 cartridge shells in one pile. 
Practically all the horses of the Mexicans were 
killed. Some of the animals had been tied to Span- 
ish dagger plants and when shot ran the length of 
their rope before f ailing. Some of the bodies rolled 
down the deep canyon until they reached the bottom 
of what we called the Canado del Muerte (Canyon 
of Death) , and the Indians removed none of the sad- 
dles or ropes from the dead horses. 

When the company of Mexicans did not return 
there was great sorrow and alarm in the little town 
of Carrajal. As it was supposed that only a small 
band of Apaches bent on horse stealing was in the 



Candelarios, another small band of fourteen men 
volunteered to go and see what had become of 
their friends and kindred. Don Jose Mario Rod- 
riguez was appointed commander, and the little 
party took the trail of their comrades with sad 
forebodings. Old Victorio, from his watch towers 
in the Candelarios, saw this rescue party and pre- 
pared for its destruction. The signs indicated that 
the second party had walked into the same death 
trap as the first, but the second band had scattered 
more in fighting and a good many of the Mexicans 
were killed on the southern slope of the hills. Two 
had attempted to escape on horseback but were 
followed and killed. I found one of these unfor- 
tunates in an open plain some six hundred yards 
from the hills. He had been surrounded, and, see- 
ing escape was impossible, had dismounted, tied 
his horse to a Spanish dagger plant and put up a 
good fight. I found thirty or forty cartridge shells 
near where he had fallen. His pony had been 
killed and the dagger plant shot to pieces. The 
Apaches had cut off his right hand and had carried 
away his gun, sixshooter, saddle and bridle. 

When neither party returned then, indeed, was 
there sorrow in the town of Carrajal, for twenty- 
nine of her principal citizens had left never to re- 
turn. Wives, mothers, and sweethearts mourned 



the loss of their dear ones. A runner was sent to 
El Paso del Norte and the citizens began to organize 
a punitive expedition at once, calling on Saragosa, 
Tres Jacalas, Guadalupe, and San Ignacio for their 
quotas. These towns responded quickly and soon 
a hundred Mexicans were ready to take the field. 
A note was sent to Lieutenant Baylor at Ysleta re- 
questing the rangers to go with the command. 
Baylor readily agreed to accompany the Mexicans, 
for he knew it was only a question of time before 
old Victorio would again be murdering and robbing 
on our side of the Rio Grande. A detachment of 
Company "C" had been in one Apache fight in 
Mexico and the Mexicans had a very kindly f eeling 
for us. Lieutenant Baylor's detachment of ten 
rangers crossed the Rio Grande at Saragosa, a little 
town opposite Ysleta, and joined the Mexicans 
under Senor Ramos. We marched to the ranch of 
Don Ynocente Ochoa until the volunteers from the 
other towns came to Samalaejuca Springs. When 
they had done so the rangers moved down and our 
combined command amounted to one hundred and 
ten men. 

After organizing their force the Mexicans sent 
Senor Ramos to inform Lieutenant Baylor that, on 
account of his experience as a soldier and as a 
compliment to the rangers, they had selected him 



to command the entire party. The lieutenant 
thanked the messenger, but declared, as the cam- 
paign was on Mexican soil to rescue or bury Mexi- 
cans, it would be more proper to appoint one of 
their own men commander, and that he himself 
would cheerfully serve under any leader so chosen. 
Senor Ramos returned shortly and notified Lieu- 
tenant Baylor that the Mexicans had selected Don 
Francisco Escapeda of Guadalupe as commander- 
in-chief and Lieutenant Baylor second in command. 
This solution of the leadership problem pleased 
us, as there was an element among the Mexican 
party that might have caused friction. Old Chico 
Barelo, the pueblo cacique and principal com- 
mander of the mob that had killed Judge Howard, 
Ellis, Adkinson, and McBride at San Elizario, was 
with the expedition, and we had at our Ysleta head- 
quarters warrants for the arrest of himself and 
many others, so we gave the old fellow to under- 
stand we were now fighting a common enemy and 
should act in harmony together. We did this more 
willingly, because we had learned that after killing 
Judge Howard and the others the mob wanted to 
murder all the rangers barricaded in an old adobe 
house, but had been dissuaded from this purpose 
by old Chico, who declared the rangers could only 
be killed after he had first bee*n slain. 



Leaving one wagon at the Ochoa ranch and tak- 
ing three days' rations cooked and more in case 
of a siege, we went out in the night to avoid Vic- 
torio's spies. Don Francisco Escapeda with Lieu- 
tenant Baylor were at the head of the column. Ser- 
geant James B. Gillett and eight rangers followed 
in Indian file, each ranger with a Mexican by his 
side, showing they looked on us as volunteers in 
the Mexican service. We rode out along the hard 
sand road beyond Samalaejuca and sent spies ahead 
to locate the Apaches if possible. Before we reached 
the Candelarios we halted behind some mountains 
to await their report, but they could learn nothing 
certain. It was a bitterly cold night and a few of 
us made fires in the deep arroyos. We moved on 
toward the mountains north of the Candelarios and 
reached them early next morning to find a large 
fresh trail about two days old going in the direction 
of Lake Santa Maria, but, for fear of some strata- 
gem, we divided our men. One party took the 
crest south of the trail where the massacre took 
place while the other went to the right. 

It was soon evident that the entire Apache band 
had left and that nothing remained for us but the 
sad duty of collecting the bodies of the dead Mexi- 
cans for burial. The second, or rescue party, had 
found the bodies of their kinsmen killed in the first 



ambuscade and had collected them and put them 
in a big crevice in the rocks. When they began to 
cover the corpses with loose stones the Indians, 
who had been watching them all the while just as 
a cat plays with a mouse before killing it, opened 
fire on the burial party and killed the last one of 
the unfortunate men. The saddest scene I ever wit- 
nessed was that presented as we gathered the bodies 
of the murdered men. At each fresh discovery of 
a loved friend, brother or father and the last hope 
fled that any had escaped, a wail of sorrow went 
up, and I doubt if there was a dry eye either of 
Mexican or Texan in the whole command. 

While the immediate relatives were hunting for 
those who had scattered in trying to escape, we 
moved south to the main tank in the Candelarios. 
The ascent was up a winding path on the steep 
mountainside to the bench where the tank, one of 
the largest in the west, was situated. The water 
coming down from a height, and big boulders fall- 
ing into the tank, had cut a deep hole in the solid 
rock in which the water was retained. Although 
Victorio's band of three hundred animals and two 
hundred or more Indians and our command had 
been using the water it could scarcely be missed. 

We sent scouts to the left and right to make sure 
no game was being put upon us, for the cunning 



old chief, after sending his women and children off, 
could have hidden his warriors in the rough cliff 
that towered high above and commanded the tank 
of water and slaughtered all those below. We re- 
mained all day and night at this place. It was the 
most picturesque spot I had ever seen. We rangers 
rambled all over this Indian camp and found many 
of the Mexican saddles hidden in the cliffs and 
several hats, each with bullet holes in it. We also 
discovered two Winchester rifles that had been hit 
in the fight and abandoned as useless. I saw a 
hundred or more old rawhide shoes that had been 
used to cover the ponies' feet and dozens of worn- 
out moccasins. This party of Apaches had killed 
and eaten more than seventy-five head of horses 
and mules in this camp. 

I followed a plain, well-beaten foot path to the 
topmost peak of the Candelario or candle moun- 
tain, so called from the candle-like projection of 
rocks that shot skyward from its top. The Cande- 
lario is in an open plain fifty miles south of El Paso, 
Texas, and from its top affords one of the grandest 
views in northern Mexico. To the south one could 
see San Jose and Carrajal, to the north the moun- 
tains at El Paso del Norte, to the west the moun- 
tains near Santa Maria River and Lake Guzman 
were in plain view, while to the east the Sierra 



Bentanos loomed up, apparently only a few miles 
away. On this peak old Victorio kept spies con- 
stantly on the lookout, and it would have been im- 
possible for a party of men to have approached 
without having been seen by these keen-eyed 

All the bodies having been recovered they were 
buried in a crevice of the mountain where they 
had been killed. All were in good preservation 
owing to the pure cold air of the mountains. It is 
a strange fact, but one beyond question, that no 
wild animal or bird of prey will touch the body of 
a Mexican. These corpses had lain on the ground 
nearly two weeks and were untouched. If they 
had been the bodies of Indians, negroes or Ameri- 
cans the coyotes, buzzards and crows would have 
attacked them the first day and night. 

Nothing of interest occurred on our return trip. 
The rangers, as usual, always ate up their three 
days' rations the first camp they made and got 
out of bread, but our Mexican allies divided with 
us. Don Ynocente Ochoa's major-domo or ranch 
boss gave us all the fresh beef we could eat and a 
supply of carne seco (dried beef) to take with us 
on campaign. Quite a company had come out to 
see us from Corrizal and we returned sadly to the 
widows of the brave men who fell in this, probably 



the most wholesale slaughter ever made by Vic- 
toria's band. The citizens of Galena were nearly 
as unfortunate, but it was old Hu and Geronimo 
who massacred them. All the Saragosa men made 
for their church to offer up thanks for a safe re- 
turn. Men, women and children uttered their 
"Gracias, senors," as the Texas Rangers rode 
through their town. We arrived safely in our adobe 
quarters at Ysleta and appreciated them after sleep- 
ing out of doors. 

Though Victorio had escaped us on this scout, 
and though he was to murder and pillage for a time, 
yet his days were numbered. Our company of 
rangers were again to cross into Mexico in pursuit 
of him, but, though, one year later, he and eighty- 
nine of his braves were killed by the Mexicans 
under Colonel Joaquin Terrazas, the rangers were 
not to take part in defeating him. However, our 
rangers were destined to annihilate a small band 
that escaped deserved destruction at that time when 
it resumed its depredations in Texas. 




During the latter part of January, 1880, two min- 
ing engineers named Andrews and Wis wall from 
Denver, Colorado, appeared at the ranger camp in 
Ysleta. They had a new ambulance pulled by two 
elegant horses and led a fine saddle pony. They 
were well fitted out for camping and had the finest 
big black shepherd dog I had ever seen. Mr. An- 
drews used a Springfield while Mr. Wiswall carried 
a Sharps sporting rifle, besides they had shotguns 
and sixshooters. These miners wanted to buy one 
hundred pack burros and, not finding what they 
wanted in the Rio Grande Valley, decided to go 
over in the upper Pecos Valley near Eddy or Ros- 
well, New Mexico, for pack animals. They con- 
sulted Lieutenant Baylor about the best route they 
should follow. He advised them to travel down 
the overland stage route to Fort Davis, thence by 
Toyah Creek and on up the Pecos, but the engineers 
thought this too much out of their way and con- 
cluded to travel by the old abandoned Batterfield 
stage route, which leads by Hueco Tanks, Alamo 
Springs, Cornudas Mountain, Crow Flat, Guada- 



lupe Mountain and thence to the Pecos River. Lieu- 
tenant Baylor warned the men that this was a very 
dangerous route, without a living white man from 
Ysleta to the Pecos River, more than one hundred 
and fifty miles distant, and through an Indian coun- 
try all the way. 

Nevertheless, Andrews and Wiswall selected this 
latter route, and the third day out from our camp 
reached the old abandoned stage station at Crow 
Flat about noon. This was in an open country and 
from it one could see for miles in every direction. 
A cold north wind was blowing, so, for protection, 
the two men drove inside the old station walls, un- 
hitched and hobbled their horses and pony and were 
soon busily baking bread, frying bacon and boiling 
coffee, not dreaming there was an Indian in the 
country, though they had been warned to look out 
for them. Like all men traveling in that country 
the two miners had the appetite of coyotes and be- 
came deeply absorbed in stowing away rations, 
Unnoticed, the horses had grazed off some three or 
four hundred yards from the station and the two 
men were suddenly startled by a yelling and the 
trampling of horses' feet. Looking up, Andrews 
and Wiswall saw ten or twelve Indians driving off 
their horses. 

Seizing their guns, the two white men started 



after the thieves at top speed. Both being Western 
men and good shots, they hoped, by opening on the 
redskins with their long range guns, to get close 
enough to prevent them from taking the hobbles 
off the horses. But the animals made about as good 
time as if they had been foot loose. This fact was 
well known to the Texas Rangers, who hobbled and 
side lined also and, even then, their horses when 
stampeded would run as fast as the guards could 
keep up with them on foot. The Apaches can't be 
taught anything about horse stealing — they are al- 
ready past masters at the art. And while some of 
the Indians halted and fought Andrews and Wis- 
wall the others ran the horses off and got away 
with them. The two miners returned to camp feel- 
ing very blue indeed. 

A council of war was held and they were unde- 
termined the best course to pursue. To walk back 
one hundred miles to El Paso and pack grub, 
blankets and water was no picnic. On the other 
hand, it was probably seventy-five miles to the 
Pecos, but they finally decided to take the shortest 
way to assistance, which proved the traditional 
longest way. They determined to stay within the 
friendly adobe of the old stage stand until night. 
To keep up appearances they rigged up two dummy 
sentinels and put them on guard. They had no 



fear of an attack at night, especially as they had 
a dog to keep watch. They left the station at dark. 
Shep, the dog, wanted to go with them, but the men 
put a sack of corn and a side of bacon under the 
ambulance and made him understand he was to 
guard it. They then set out and followed the old 
stage route along a horrible road of deep sand. At 
daybreak they were near the point of the Guadalupe 
Peak, and after having traveled on foot about 
twenty-five miles they were pretty well worn out. 

The old stage road here turns to the right and 
gradually winds around the mountain to get on 
the mesa land. It makes quite a circuit before get- 
ting to the next water, Pine Springs, but there was 
an old Indian trail that leads up the canyon and 
straight through. As Andrews and Wiswall were 
afoot and taking all the short cuts, they took this 
trail. It was late in the day when, in a sudden 
bend of the trail, they came in full view of an 
entire village of Indians coming towards them. 
The redskins were only two or three hundred yards 
off and discovered the white men at once. 

Under such circumstances the two pedestrians 
had to think quickly and act at once. They could 
not hope to escape by running, for most of the 
Indians were mounted. Fortunately, to the south 
of the trail there was a sharp sugar loaf peak, and 



for this Andrews and Wiswall made with all speed. 
Reaching the summit they hastily threw up breast- 
works of loose rocks and as soon as the Indians 
came into sight they opened fire on them. The 
redskins returned the fire, but soon discovered they 
were wasting ammunition and ceased firing. The 
besieged, suspicious of some stratagem, kept a sharp 
lookout, and soon discovered the Indians were 
crawling upward to the barricade and pushing boul- 
ders before them to shelter their bodies. The boys 
decided to keep perfectly still, one on each side, 
and watch for a chance to kill a savage. 

The watcher on the west side, where the fading 
light still enabled him to see, saw a mop of black 
hair rise cautiously over an advancing rock. He 
fired at once. The head disappeared and the boul- 
der went thundering down the hill with the two 
white men running over the warrior, who was kick- 
ing around like a chicken with its head cut off. As 
good luck would have it most of the attackers were 
on the east side, taking it for granted the men would 
try to escape in that direction. Before the aston- 
ished Apaches could understand just what was oc- 
curring, the men, running like old black-tailed 
bucks, were out of hearing, while night spread her 
dark mantle over them in kindness. Being good 



woodsmen, the fugitives had no trouble in shaping 
their course to Crow Flat again. 

Worn out and weary after traveling more than 
fifty miles on foot and with not a wink of sleep for 
thirty-six hours, they made the old stage stand and 
found their dummy sentinels still on guard with 
the faithful shepherd dog at his post. He was over- 
joyed at the return of his masters. , At the old 
adobe station Andrews and Wiswali were in a meas- 
ure safe, for they had water and grub and the walls 
of the stand, five feet or more high, would shelter 
them. Since the Apaches had made no attempt to 
kill the dog or rob the ambulance, the miners were 
satisfied that the Indians, after stealing their horses, 
had kept on their way to the Mescalero Agency, 
near Tularosa. This stage station was on the high- 
way of these murderous, thieving rascals, who were 
constantly raiding Texas and Chihuahua, and in 
their raids they had made a deep trail leading north 
from Crow Flat or Crow Springs, as some call it, 
toward the Sacramento Mountains. 

After the fugitives had rested they decided they 
would pull out after dark and hoof it for Ysleta. 
The fifty miles' walk over a rough country had 
pretty well worn out their shoes, so they used 
gunny sacks to tie up their sore and bleeding feet. 
Again giving Shep his orders, with heavy hearts 



Andrews and Wiswall turned their faces to the 
Cornudos Mountains, with the next stage station 
twenty-five miles distant without one drop of water 
on the way. They were so tired and foot-sore they 
did not reach Cornudos until late the next day. 
Here they hid in the rocks, among the shady nooks 
of which they found cold water and sweet rest. 
After several days the two men dragged their weary 
bodies, more dead than alive, into Ysleta and to 
the ranger camp. 

Lieutenant Raylor ordered me to take eight 
rangers, and with two mules, proceed to Crow Flat 
to bring in the ambulance Andrews and Wiswall 
had abandoned there. The first day we made the 
Hueco Tanks. Hueco is Spanish for tanks, and in 
the early days travelers spelled it Waco. Many wild 
adventures have occurred at these tanks — fights be- 
tween the Mexicans and the Comanches. During 
the gold excitement this was the main immigrant 
route to California. Here, too, the overland stage 
route had a stand. The names of Marcy, General 
Lee, and thousands of others could be seen written 
on the rocks. The Indians themselves had drawn 
many rude pictures, one of which was quite artistic 
and depicted a huge rattlesnake on the rock under 
the cave near the stage stand on the eastern side 
of Hueco. 



Many times when scouting in the Sacramento and 
Guadalupe Mountains I have camped for the night 
in the Huecos. Sometimes the water in the tanks 
had been all used up by the travelers but there was 
always plenty of good cool rain water twenty-five 
feet above the main ground tanks. Often I have 
watered my entire command by scaling the moun- 
tain to those hidden tanks and, filling our boots and 
hats with water, poured it on the flat, roof-like 
rocks so it would run down into the tanks below 
where our horses and mules would be watered in 
good shape. The city of El Paso, I am told, now 
has a fine graded road to those old historic moun- 
tains and many of its citizens enjoy an outing there. 

Our next halt was at the Alamose, across the 
beautiful plains, at that time covered with antelope 
that could be seen scudding away with their swift 
change of color looking like a flock of white birds. 
Here we found some Indian signs at the flat above 
the springs, but it was at Cornudos that we again 
saw the old signs of the Apaches. This Cornudos 
is a strange conglomeration of dark granite rocks 
shot high in the air in the midst of the plains by 
some eruption of the earth in ages past. This was 
the favorite watering place of the Tularosa Agency 
Indians on their raids into Texas and Mexico. 

From Cornudos to Crow Flat is a long, monot- 



onous tramp of twenty-five or thirty miles, and we 
arrived in the night and were promptly challenged 
by the faithful sentinel, old Shep. Although we 
were strangers, the dog seemed to recognize us as 
Americans and friends. He went wild with joy, 
barked, rolled over and over and came as near 
talking as any African monkey or gorilla could. 
We gave him a cheer. The faithful animal had 
been there alone for nearly fifteen days. His side 
of bacon was eaten and the sack of corn getting 
very low. The rangers were as much delighted as 
if it had been a human being they had rescued. 
The dog had worn the top of the wall of the old 
stage station perfectly smooth while keeping off 
the sneaking coyotes. Tracks of the latter were 
thick all around the place, but Shep held the fort 
with the assistance of the dummy sentinels. We 
found everything just as the owners, Andrews and 
Wiswall, had left it. 

As was my custom, I walked over the ground 
where the Apaches and Messrs. Andrews and Wis- 
wall had had their scrap. Near an old dagger 
plant I found where an Indian had taken shelter, 
or rather tried to hide himself, and picked up a 
number of Winchester .44 cartridge shells. We 
secured the ambulance and our return journey was 



without incident. We arrived back in our camp 
after making the two hundred miles in a week. 

Mr. Andrews presented Lieutenant Baylor with 
a beautiful Springfield rifle. I don't know whether 
Andrews or Wiswall are alive, but that Mexican 
shepherd dog is entitled to a monument on which 
should be inscribed, "FIDELITY." 

In the spring of 1880 two brick masons, Morgan 
and Brown, stopped at our quarters in Ysleta on 
their way from Fort Craig, New Mexico, to San 
Antonio, Texas. They had heard that some freight 
wagons at San Elizario would soon return to San 
Antonio and were anxious to travel back with them. 
These men spent two or three days in the ranger 
camp and seemed very nice chaps and pleasant talk- 
ers. One of them, Mr. Morgan, owned one of the 
finest pistols I ever saw. It was pearl handled and 
silver mounted. Our boys tried to trade for it, but 
Morgan would not part with the weapon. 

After the two men had been gone from our camp 
three or four days word was brought to Lieutenant 
Baylor that two men had been found dead near 
San Elizario. The lieutenant sent me with a detail 
of three rangers to investigate. At San Elizario 
we learned that the dead men were at Collins' sheep 
ranch, four miles from town. On arriving there 
we found, to our surprise and horror, that the dead 



men were Morgan and Brown, who had left our 
camp hale and hearty just a few days before. It 
was surmised that the men had camped for the 
night at the sheep ranch and had been beaten to 
death with heavy mesquite sticks. They had been 
dead two or three days and were stripped of their 
clothing, their bodies being partly eaten by coyotes. 

On repairing to his sheep ranch Mr. Collins found 
the dead bodies of Morgan and Brown, his shepherds 
gone and his flocks scattered over the country. Mr. 
Collins gave the herders' names as Santiago Skevill 
and Manuel Moleno. After beating out the brains 
of their unfortunate victims the Mexicans robbed 
the bodies and lit out for parts unknown. 

As the murderers were on foot and had been 
gone three or four days, I found it very difficult to 
get their trail, as loose stock grazed along the 
bosques and partially obliterated it. As there 
was a number of settlements and several little 
pueblos along the river, I knew if I did not follow 
the Mexicans' tracks closely I could never tell where 
they had gone, so I spent the remainder of the day 
trying to get the trail from camp. We were com- 
pelled to follow it on foot, leading our horses. We 
would sometimes be an hour trailing a mile. 

On the following day I was able to make only 
ten miles on the trail, but I had discovered the gen- 



eral direction. I slept on the banks of the Rio 
Grande that night, and next morning crossed into 
Mexico, and found that the murderers were going 
down the river in the direction of Guadalupe. I 
now quit the trail and hurried on to this little Mexi- 
can town. Traveling around a short bend in the 
road I came suddenly into the main street of Guad- 
alupe, and almost the first man I saw standing on 
the street was a Mexican with Morgan's white- 
handled pistol strapped on him. 

I left two of my men to watch the suspect and 
myself hurried to the office of the president of 
Guadalupe, made known my mission and told him 
I had seen one of the supposed murderers of Mor- 
gan and Brown on the streets of his city, and asked 
that the suspect be arrested. The official treated 
me very cordially and soon had some police officers 
go with me. They found the two suspected Mexi- 
cans, arrested them and placed them in the hous- 
gow. The prisoners admitted they were Collins' 
sheep herders and said their names were Moleno 
and Skevill but, of course, denied knowing any- 
thing about the death of Morgan and Brown. All 
my rangers recognized the pistol taken from the 
Mexican as the weapon owned by Mr. Morgan. The 
Mexican officers reported to the alcalde or town 
president that the suspects had been arrested. The 



latter official then asked me if I had any papers 
for these men. I told him I did not, for at the time 
I left my camp at Ysleta we did not know the na- 
ture of the murder or the names of the parties in- 
criminated. I declared I was sure the men arrested 
had committed the murder and that I would hurry 
back to Ysleta and have the proper papers issued 
for the prisoners' extradition. The alcalde prom- 
ised to hold the suspects until the proper formali- 
ties could be complied with. 

From Guadalupe to Ysleta is about fifty or sixty 
miles. I felt the importance of the case, and while 
I and my men were foot-sore and weary, we rode all 
night long over a sandy road and reached camp at 
Ysleta at 9 o'clock the following morning. Lieu- 
tenant Baylor at once appeared before the justice 
of the peace at Ysleta and filed a complaint of mur- 
der against Manuel Moleno and Santiago Skevill, 
had warrants issued for their arrest and himself 
hurried to El Paso, crossed the river to El Paso 
del Norte and, presenting his warrants to the au- 
thorities, asked that the murderers be held until 
application for their extradition could be made. 

Within a week we learned, much to our disgust, 
that the two murderers had been liberated and told 
to vamoose. I doubt whether the warrants were 



ever sent to the alcalde at Guadalupe. A more cruel 
murder than that of Morgan and Brown was never 
committed on the Rio Grande, yet the murderers 
went scot-free. This miscarriage of justice rankled 
in my memory and subsequently it was to lead me 
to take the law into my own hands when dealing 
with another Mexican murderer. 



As soon as the summer rains had begun in 1880 
and green grass and water were plentiful, old Vic- 
torio again began his raids. He appeared at Lake 
Guzman, Old Mexico, then traveled east to Boracho 
Pass, just south of the Rio Grande. This old chief 
was then reported making for the Eagle Mountains 
in Texas. The Mexican Government communicated 
this information to General Grierson at Fort Davis, 
Texas, and Lieutenant Baylor was asked to cooper- 
ate in the campaign to exterminate the wily old 

General Grierson, on receipt of this information, 
at once put his cavalry in motion for Eagle Springs, 
and on August 2, 1880, Baylor left his camp at 
Ysleta with myself and thirteen rangers equipped 
for a two weeks' campaign. On August 4th our 
little band reached old Fort Quitman, eighty miles 
down the Rio Grande from El Paso, and Lieutenant 
Baylor reported to General Grierson by telegraph. 
His message was interrupted, for the Apaches had 
cut the wires between Bass' Canyon and Van Horn's 
Well, but the general ordered him by telegram to 
scout toward Eagle Springs until his command 



should meet the United States cavalry. We were 
to keep a sharp lookout for Indian trails, but we 
saw none until we reached Eighteen Mile water 
hole, where General Grierson's troops had had an 
engagement with Victorio. From here the Indians 
went south and around Eagle Mountains, so we 
continued down the road beyond Bass' Canyon and 
found the Apaches had crossed the road, torn down 
the telegraph wire, carried off a long piece of it, 
and destroyed the insulators. The Indians also 
dragged some of the telegraph poles two or three 
miles and left them on their trail. The signs in- 
dicated they had from one hundred and eighty to 
two hundred animals. After destroying the tele- 
graph the raiders finally moved north toward Car- 
rizo Mountains. 

At Van Horn, Lieutenant Baylor could learn 
nothing of General Grierson or his movements. We 
thereupon took the general's trail leading north 
and overtook him in camp at Rattlesnake Springs, 
about sixty-five miles distant. Here we joined Com- 
pany "K," Eighth Cavalry, and Captain Nolan's 
company, the Tenth. The cavalry camped at Car- 
rizo Springs and our scouts found Victorio's trail 
the next day leading southwest toward the Apache 
Tanks. We left camp at dusk and rode all night 
and struck the redskins' trail next morning at the 



stage road where General Grierson had fought. The 
Indians crossed the road, but afterwards returned 
to it and continued toward old Fort Quitman. 

The overland stage company kept a station at 
this abandoned frontier post, situated on the north 
bank of the Rio Grande, eighty or ninety miles east 
of El Paso, Texas. On August 9, 1880, Ed Walde, 
the stage driver, started out on his drive with Gen- 
eral Byrnes occupying the rear seat of the stage 
coach. The stage, drawn by two fast running little 
Spanish mules, passed down the valley and entered 
the canyon, a very box-like pass with high moun- 
tains on either side, — an ideal place for an Indian 
ambuscade. Walde had driven partly through this 
pass when, around a short bend in the road, he 
came suddenly upon old Victorio and his band of 
one hundred warriors. The Indian advance guard 
fired on the coach immediately, and at the first 
volley General Byrnes was fatally wounded, a large 
caliber bullet striking him in the breast and a sec- 
ond passing through his thigh. Walde turned his 
team as quickly as he could and made a lightning 
run back to the stage stand with the general's body 
hanging partly out of the stage. The Apaches fol- 
lowed the stage for four or five miles trying to 
get ahead of it, but the little mules made time and 



beat them into the shelter of the station's adobe 

It was a miracle that Walde, sitting on the front 
seat, escaped without a scratch and both of the 
mules unharmed. At old Fort Quitman I examined 
the little canvas-topped stage and found it literally 
shot to pieces. I noticed where a bullet had glanced 
along the white canvas, leaving a blue mark a foot 
long before it passed through the top. Three of 
the spokes of the wheels were shot in two and, as 
well as I remember, there were fifteen or twenty 
bullet marks on and through the stage. Lieutenant 
Baylor and his rangers buried General Byrnes near 
old Fort Quitman and fired a volley over his grave. 
Subsequently Walde joined Lieutenant Baylor's 
command and made an excellent ranger. It was 
from him that I obtained the particulars of the 
fight that resulted in the general's death. 

En route the Apaches raided Jesus Cota's ranch, 
killed his herder and drove off one hundred and 
forty head of cattle. In crossing the river forty of 
the animals mired in the quicksands. The heart- 
less Indians thereupon pounced upon the unfortu- 
nate cattle and cut chunks of flesh out of their liv- 
ing bodies. Many of the mutilated animals were 
still alive when we found them. The redskins, with 
a freakish sense of humor, perpetrated a grim joke 



on the murdered herder. He was rendering out 
some tallow when surprised and killed, so the mur- 
derers rammed his head into the melted tallow to 
make him a greaser! 

After the fight at Quitman, Victorio and his band 
crossed into Mexico and there found temporary 
safety, as the United States troops were not per- 
mitted to enter that country in pursuit of Indians, 
though negotiations to permit such pursuit of In- 
dians were even then pending between the two 
governments. Alone, we were no match for Vic- 
torious hundred braves, so we returned to our camp. 

Victorio, however, did not remain idle in Mexico. 
He made a raid on Dr. Saminiego's San Jose ranch 
and stole one hundred and seventeen horses and 
mules, besides killing two Mexican herders. Don 
Ramon Arranda, captain of the Mexican Volunteers, 
invited the rangers to Mexico to cooperate with him 
in exterminating the Apaches, so, on September 17, 
1880, Lieutenant Baylor with thirteen rangers, my- 
self included, entered Mexico and marched to 
Tancas Cantaresio, Don Arranda's ranch. Here we 
were joined by Mexican volunteers from the towns 
of Guadalupe, San Ignacio, Tres Jacalas, Paso del 
Norte, and from the Texan towns of Ysleta, Socorro, 
and San Elizario, until our combined force num- 
bered over a hundred men. 



On the night of the 19th we crossed an Indian 
trail south of the Rancheria Mountains, but could 
not tell the number of redskins in the party, as 
it was then dark and the trail damaged by rain. 
The same night we saw Indian signal fires to the 
east of the Arranda ranch. Next morning, with a 
detail of five rangers and ten Mexican volunteers, 
I scouted out in the direction of the fires but did 
not have time to reach the sign, as I was ordered 
to take and hold the Rancheria Mountains before 
old Victorio and his band reached them. 

At Lucero, the first stage stand, the Apaches were 
reported within a league of Carrizal. We made a 
night march with our rangers and seventy-three 
volunteers, but found the Indians had left, and, as 
a heavy rain had put out the trail, we struck east 
toward El Copra Mountains. Here we again picked 
up the trail and, following it until night, we found 
a few loose horses of Saminiego's. The marauders 
now went west toward some tanks and we returned 
to Candelario, where Victorio's entire band had 
crossed the Chihuahua stage road. Thence we 
marched back to San Jose and went into camp to 
await the arrival of General Joaquin Terrasas. 

The Mexican general made his appearance on the 
3rd day of October with two hundred cavalry and 
one hundred infantry. This general, a member of 



a well known family of Chihuahua, was more than 
six feet in height, very dark and an inveterate 
smoker of cigarettes. He used four milk white 
horses, riding one while his aides led three. His 
cavalry, well armed with Remington pistols and 
carbines, was nicely uniformed and mounted on 
dark colored animals of even size. The infantry 
were Indians from the interior of Mexico. These 
foot soldiers wore rawhide sandals on their feet and 
were armed with Remington muskets. Each sol- 
dier carried two cartridge belts, containing one hun- 
dred rounds of ammunition. I was impressed with 
the little baggage and rations these infantrymen 
carried. On the march each man had a little can- 
vas bag that held about one quart of ground parched 
corn, sweetened with a little sugar — and a table- 
spoonful of this mixture stirred in a pint cup of 
water made a good meal. Of course when in a 
cattle country plenty of beef was furnished them, 
but when on the march they had only this little 
bag of corn. This lack of baggage and rations en- 
abled them to move quickly and promptly. This 
light infantry had no trouble at all in keeping up 
with the cavalry on the march and in a rough coun- 
try they could move faster than the horsemen. 

With General Terrasas' three hundred soldiers 
and our hundred volunteers we could bring to bear 



against Victorio about four hundred men. From 
San Jose the combined command marched to Rebo- 
sadero Springs, twenty miles south of El Caparo, 
on the new Chihuahua stage road. There we rested 
two days and then marched forty miles to Boracho 
Pass, where the Apaches had camped after killing 
General Byrnes and stealing Jesus Cota's stock. 
We crossed the Indians' trail twenty miles west of 
the pass and formed our line of battle, as we ex- 
pected the enemy was camped at some tanks there. 
He did not appear, so we camped at the pass to 
await supplies. 

When the supply wagons arrived, General Ter- 
rasas sent an orderly to Lieutenant Baylor and in- 
vited him to send his men to draw ten days' rations. 
While I was standing in my shirtsleeves near the 
wagon one of the Mexican soldiers stole from my 
belt a fine hunting knife that I had carried ten 
thousand miles over the frontier. I discovered the 
loss almost immediately and reported it to Lieu- 
tenant Baylor, who, in turn, mentioned it to Gen- 
eral Terrasas. The Mexican general at once had 
his captains form their respective companies and 
had every soldier in camp searched, but the knife 
was not found. The thief had probably hidden it 
in the grass. The Mexican volunteers remained 
with General Terrasas until after the defeat of Vic- 



torio, and one of them told me afterward he had 
seen a Mexican soldier scalping Apaches with it. 
Just one year later an orderly of General Terrasas 
rode into the ranger camp at Ysleta and presented 
Lieutenant Baylor, then a captain, with the miss- 
ing weapon and a note stating that Terrasas was 
glad to return it and to report that the thief had 
been punished. 

While at Boracho we were joined by Lieutenant 
Shaffer, the Twenty-third United States Cavalry 
(negroes), Lieutenant Manney, Captain Parker and 
sixty-five Apache scouts. These latter were Geron- 
imo's Chiricauhaus, who later quit their reserva- 
tion and wrought such death and destruction in 
Arizona, New Mexico, and Old Mexico. From the 
first General Terrasas viewed these Indian allies 
with distrust, and as soon as we had scouted south- 
east from Boracho to Los Pinos Mountains, about 
seventy-five miles distant, and learned that Vic- 
torio's trail turned southwest toward Chihuahua, 
General Terrasas called Captain Parker, Lieuten- 
ants Baylor, Shaffer and Manney to his camp and 
informed them that, as the trail had taken a turn 
back into the state of Chihuahua and was leading 
them away from their homes, he thought it best for 
the Americans to return to the United States. I was 
present at this conference and I at once saw my 



chance for a scrap with old Victorio go glimmering. 
But there was nothing to do but obey orders, pack 
up and vamoose. 

While on scouts after Victorio's band I met many 
United States officers, and often around the camp 
fire discussed this old chief. The soldiers all agreed 
that for an ignorant Indian Victorio displayed great 
military genius, and Major McGonnigal declared, 
with the single exception of Chief Crazy-horse of 
the Sioux, he considered Victorio the greatest In- 
dian general that ever appeared on the American 
continent. In following this wily old Apache Napo- 
leon I examined twenty-five or more of his camps. 
Victorio was very particular about locating them 
strategically, and his parapets were most skillfully 
arranged and built. If he remained only an hour 
in camp he had these defenses thrown up. He had 
fought in over two hundred engagements, but his 
last fight was now very close at hand. 

The very next morning after the United States 
troops, the Apache scouts and the Texas rangers 
turned homeward General Terrasas' scouts reported 
to him that Victorio with his entire band of fol- 
lowers was camped at Tres Castilos, a small group 
of hills about twenty-five miles southwest of the 
Los Pinos Mountains. General Terrasas at once 
set his column in motion for that place. Captives 



afterward declared that Victorio's spies reported the 
presence of the Mexican cavalry early in the day 
and thereafter kept him informed hour by hour as 
to the movements of the approaching enemy. 

Victorio had just sent his war chief. Nana, and 
fifty of his best young warriors away on a raid, so 
he had left in his camp just an even hundred braves, 
some of them very old men. He also had ninety- 
seven women and children and about five hundred 
head of horses and mules, yet the remarkable old 
Indian made no move to escape. By nightfall Gen- 
eral Terrasas drew up near the Apache camp, sur- 
rounded the three hills as best he could and waited 
until morning before assaulting the enemy. During 
the night twelve of Victorio's warriors, with four 
women and four children, deserted the old chief 
and made their way back to the Eagle Mountains 
in Texas. Here they committed many depredations 
until exterminated three months later in the Diablo 
Mountains by Lieutenants Baylor and Nevill. 

Early the following morning Victorio mounted a 
white horse and, in making some disposition of his 
braves to meet the expected onset of the enemy 
forces, exposed himself unnecessarily. The Mexi- 
cans fired on him at long range and two bullets 
pierced his body. He fell from his horse dead, — 
a good Indian at last. 



The loss of Victorio and the absence of Nana de- 
moralized the Apaches, and a vigorous assault by 
Terrasas and his army resulted in a complete vic- 
tory for the Mexicans. Eighty-seven Indian war- 
riors were killed, while eighty-nine squaws and 
their children were captured with a loss of only 
two men killed and a few wounded. This victory 
covered General Terrasas with glory. The Mexican 
Government never ceased to shower honors upon 
him and gave him many thousands of acres of land 
in the state of Chihuahua. The general was so 
elated over the outcome of the battle that he sent 
a courier on a fast horse to overtake Lieutenant 
Baylor and report the good news. The messenger 
caught us in camp near old Fort Quitman. Every 
ranger in the scout felt thoroughly disgusted and 
disappointed at missing the great fight by only two 
days after being with General Terrasas nearly a 

The captured women and children were sent 
south of Mexico City into a climate perfectly un- 
natural to them. Here they all died in a few years. 
When Nana heard of the death of Victorio and 
the capture of the squaws and children he fled with 
his fifty warriors to the Sierra Madre Mountains 
in the State of Sonora, Mexico. There he joined 
forces with old Geronimo and massacred more 



people than any small band of Indians in the world. 
To avenge himself on Terrasas for killing his friends 
and carrying away their wives and children, Nana 
and his band killed more than two hundred Mexi- 
cans before joining Geronimo. Nana, with his new 
chief, surrendered to General Lawton in 1886 and, 
I believe, was carried away by our government to 
Florida, where he at last died. 

On our return to camp at Ysleta a commission as 
captain was waiting Lieutenant Baylor, since Cap- 
tain Neal Coldwell had been named quartermaster 
of the battalion, his company disbanded and its 
letter, "A," given to our company. 

Though we missed the fight with Victorio it was 
not long before we were called upon to scout after 
the band of twelve warriors that had deserted the 
old chief on the night before the battle of Tres 
Castilos. However, we had first to clean up our 
company, for many undesirable recruits had seeped 
into it. This accomplished, we were ready to re- 
sume our Indian warfare. 



In the early fall of 1880 two well mounted and 
well armed men appeared at the ranger camp at 
Ysleta and applied to Captain Baylor for enlistment 
in his company. After questioning the applicants 
at some length the captain accepted them and swore 
them into the service. One gave his name as John 
(Red) Holcomb and the other as James Stallings. 
Unknown to us, both these men were outlaws and 
joined the rangers solely to learn of their strength 
and their methods of operations. Holcomb was a 
San Simone Valley, Arizona, rustler and was living 
under an assumed name. Stallings, though he went 
by his true name, had shot a man in Hamilton 
County, Texas, and was under indictment for as- 
sault to kill. 

These two recruits came into the service just 
before we started on our fall campaign into Mexico 
after old Victorio and were with us on that long 
scout. Although one was from Texas and the other 
from Arizona, the two chummed together and were 
evidentty in each other's confidence. Stallings had 
not been long in the company before he showed 
himself a trouble maker. 



As orderly sergeant it was my duty to keep a 
roster of the company. Beginning at the top of the 
list and reading off the names in rotation, I called 
out each morning the guard for the day. We had 
in the company a Mexican, Juan Garcia, who had 
always lived in the Rio Grande country, and Cap- 
tain Baylor had enlisted him as a ranger that he 
might use him as a guide, for Garcia was familiar 
with much of the country over which we were 
called upon to scout. It so happened that Jim 
Stallings and Garcia were detailed on the same 
guard one day. This greatly offended Stallings, 
and he declared to some of the boys that I had 
detailed him on guard with a Mexican just to humil- 
iate him and he was going to give me a d — n good 
whipping. The boys advised him he had better not 
attempt it. I could see that Stallings was sullen, 
but it was not until months afterward that I learned 
the cause. 

After our return from our month's scout in Mex- 
ico, Captain Baylor received a new fugitive list 
from the Adjutant-General, and in looking over its 
pages my eyes fell on the list of fugitives from Ham- 
ilton County, Texas. Almost the first name thereon 
was that of James Stallings with his age and de- 
scription. I notified Captain Baylor that Stallings 
was a fugitive from justice. Baylor asked me what 



Stallings had been indicted for and I replied for 
assault to kill. 

"Well, maybe the darned fellow needed killing," 
replied the captain. "Stallings looks like a good 
ranger and I need him." 

Not many days after this I heard loud cursing 
in our quarters and went to investigate. I found 
Stallings with a cocked pistol in his hand standing 
over the bed of a ranger named Tom Landers, curs- 
ing him out. I could see Stallings had been drink- 
ing and finally persuaded him to put up his pistol 
and go to bed. The next morning I informed Cap- 
tain Baylor of the incident, and suggested that if 
we did not do something with Stallings he would 
probably kill someone. The captain did not seem 
inclined to take that view. In fact, I rather believed 
Captain Baylor liked a man that was somewhat 
"on the prod," as the cowboys are wont to say of 
a fellow or a cow that wants to fight. 

John Holcomb soon found out as much about the 
rangers as he desired and, fearing he might be dis- 
covered, asked Captain Baylor for a discharge. 
After obtaining it he took up his abode in El Paso. 

Not long afterwards one morning at breakfast, 
while the twenty rangers were seated at one long 
dining table, Jim Stallings had a dispute with John 
Thomas, who was seated on the opposite side of 



the table and, quick as a flash, struck Thomas in 
the face with a tin cup of boiling coffee. Both men 
rose to their feet and pulled their pistols, but be- 
fore they could stage a shooting match in the place 
the boys on either side grabbed them. 

I at once went to Captain Baylor and told him 
that something had to be done. He seemed to be 
thoroughly aroused now and said, "Sergeant, you 
arrest Stallings, disarm and shackle him. I'll send 
him back where he belongs." 

I carried out the order promptly and Captain 
Baylor at once wrote to the sheriff of Hamilton 
County to come for the prisoner. Hamilton County 
is seven hundred miles by stage from El Paso and 
it took a week to get a letter through. There was 
no jail at Ysleta at that time, so we were compelled 
to hold this dangerous man in our camp. 

Stallings was shrewd and a keen judge of human 
nature. We would sometimes remove the shackles 
from him that he might get a little exercise. 
Finally it came the turn of a ranger named Potter 
to guard the prisoner. Potter had drifted into the 
country from somewhere up north, and Captain 
Baylor had enlisted him. He knew very little about 
riding and much less about handling firearms. 
Stallings asked Potter to go with him out into the 
corral. This enclosure was built of adobe and 



about five feet high. It was nearly dark and the 
prisoner walked leisurely up to the fence with 
Potter following close behind with Winchester in 
hand. All of a sudden Stallings turned a hand- 
spring over the fence and hit the ground on the 
other side in a run. Potter began firing at the 
fugitive, which brought out all the boys in camp. 
Stallings had only about one hundred yards to run 
to reach the Rio Grande, and before anything could 
be done he was safe in Mexico. He yelled a good- 
bye to the boys as he struck the bank on the oppo- 
site side of the river. Captain Baylor was furious 
over the prisoner's escape and promptly fired Potter 
from the service and reprimanded me for not keep- 
ing Stallings shackled all the time. 

Though we had lost the man we had his horse, 
saddle, bridle and arms. Stallings at once went to 
Juarez and John Holcomb met him there. The fugi- 
tive gave his pal an order on Captain Baylor for 
his horse, saddle, and pistol, and Holcomb had the 
gall to come to Ysleta and present this order. He 
reached our camp at noon while the horses were 
all in the corral. At the moment of his arrival I 
happened to be at Captain Baylor's home. Private 
George Lloyd stepped over to the captain's and said 
to me, "Sergeant, John Holcomb is over in camp 



with an order from Jim Stallings for his horse 
and outfit." 

"Gillett, you go and arrest Holcomb and put him 
in irons and I'll see if I can find where he is wanted," 
ordered Captain Baylor, who heard what Lloyd said. 

Holcomb, seeing Lloj r d go into Captain Baylor's, 
got suspicious, jumped on his horse and left for 
El Paso in a gallop. I detailed three men to ac- 
company me to capture Holcomb, but by the time 
we saddled our horses and armed ourselves the 
fugitive was out of sight. We hit the road running 
and after traveling two or three miles and inquiring 
of people we met in the road I became convinced 
that Holcomb had quit the road soon after leaving 
our camp and was striking for Mexico. I turned 
back in the direction of camp and followed the bank 
of the river. 

We had probably traveled a mile on our way 
home when we discovered Holcomb coming up the 
river toward us. He was about four hundred yards 
away and discovered us about the same time. 
Turning his horse quickly he made a dash for the 
river. Where he struck it the bank was ten feet 
high, but he never hesitated, and both man and 
horse went head first into the Rio Grande. The 
three men I had with me outran me and when they 
reached the point where the fugitive had entered 



the water they saw him swimming rapidly to the 
Mexican side and began firing at him. I ran up 
and ordered them to cease, telling them not to kill 
Holcomb, as he was in swimming water and help- 
less. Just at this moment the swimmer struck shal- 
low water and I ordered him to come back or I 
would shoot him. 

"I'll come if you won't let the boys kill me," he 
called back. 

I told him to hit swimming water quickly, which 
he did, and swam back to the American side. He 
was in his shirtsleeves and with his hat gone. His 
horse, meantime, had swam back to our side of 
the river. 

We all mounted and started back to camp, two 
of the rangers riding in front with Holcomb. I had 
not searched the prisoner because he was in his 
shirtsleeves. As we rode along Holcomb reached 
into his shirt bosom and pulled out an old .45 pistol 
and handed it to one of the boys, saying, "Don't 
tell the sergeant I had this." The rangers at camp 
gave the prisoner some dry clothes and dinner, 
then put him in chains and under guard. 

Captain Baylor went on to El Paso, crossed the 
river to Juarez and had Stallings arrested. In two 
days we had him back in camp and chained to 
Holcomb. The captain then wrote to Bell County, 



Texas, as he had heard John Holcomb was wanted 
there for murder. Holcomb had a good horse and 
he gave it to a lawyer in El Paso to get him out 
of his trouble. Of course we had no warrant for 
Holcomb's arrest and Judge Blacker ordered our 
prisoner brought before him. The county attorney 
made every effort to have Holcomb held, while his 
lawyer tried his best to have the suspect released. 
The judge finally said he would hold Holcomb for 
one week and unless the officers found some evi- 
dence against him during that time he would order 
the prisoner freed. It was nearly dark before we 
left El Paso on our return to Ysleta, twelve miles 
distant. Holcomb had, in some manner, gotten two 
or three drinks of whisky and was f eeling the liquor. 
I had one ranger with me leading the prisoner's 
horse. The road back to camp followed the river 
rather closely and the country was very brushy all 
the way. 

As soon as we had gotten out of El Paso Holcomb 
sat sidewise on his horse, holding the pommel of 
his saddle with one hand and the cantle with the 
other, all the while facing toward Mexico. I ordered 
him to sit straight in his saddle, but he refused. 
We were riding in a gallop and I believe he intended 
to jump from his horse and try to escape in the 
brush. I drew my pistol and hid it behind my leg. 



Although Holcomb had the cape of his overcoat 
thrown over his head he discovered I had a pistol 
in my hand and began a tirade of abuse, declaring 
I had a cocked gun in my hand and was aching for 
a chance to kill him. I told him I believed from 
his actions he was watching for a chance to quit 
his horse and escape, and that I was prepared to 
prevent such a move. We reached camp safely and 
chained Holcomb to Stallings. 

These boys, although prisoners, were full of life, 
and laughed and talked all the time. Holcomb 
played the violin quite well. We held the two sus- 
pects several days and finally one night one of the 
rangers came to my room and said, "Sergeant, I 
believe there is something wrong with those pris- 
oners. They are holloaing, singing and playing the 

I was busy on my monthly reports and told him 
to keep a sharp lookout and before I retired I would 
come and examine the prisoners. On examination 
I found that while Holcomb played the violin Stall- 
ings had sawn their shackles loose. They laughed 
when I discovered this and said that when the boys 
had all gone to bed they intended to throw the pack 
saddle, which they used for a seat, on the guard's 
head and escape. We could get no evidence againsl 
John Holcomb and the judge ordered his release. 



While a prisoner Holcomb swore vengeance 
against myself and Prosecutor Neal. Mr. Neal 
heard of this threat, met Holcomb on the streets 
of El Paso afterward and, jerking a small Derringer 
pistol from his pocket, shot Holcomb in the belly. 
Holcomb fell and begged for his life. He was not 
badly hurt, and as soon as he was well he quit El 
Paso, went to Deming, New Mexico, where he stole 
a bunch of cattle. He drove the stolen herd to the 
mining camp of Lake Valley and there sold them. 
While he was in a saloon drinking and playing his 
fiddle the owner of the cattle appeared with a shot- 
gun and filled the thief full of buckshot. As he 
fell Holcomb was heard to exclaim, "Oh, boys, 
they have got me at last." 

Jim Stallings was sent to Fort Davis and placed 
in the jail there, from which he and half a dozen 
other criminals made their escape. 

A man named John Scott came to Captain Baylor, 
told a hard luck story, and asked to be taken into 
the service. Captain Baylor enlisted the applicant 
and fitted him out with horse, saddle, bridle and 
armed him with gun and pistol, himself standing 
good for the entire equipment. Scott had not been 
in the service two months before he deserted. I 
was ordered to take two men, follow him and bring 
him back. I overtook Scott up in the Canutillo, 



near the line of New Mexico, and before I even 
ordered him to halt, he jumped down, sought refuge 
behind his horse and opened fire on us with his 
Winchester. We returned the fire and killed his 
horse. He then threw down his gun and surren- 
dered. We found the deserter had stopped in El 
Paso and gotten a bottle of whisky. He was rather 
drunk when overtaken, otherwise he probably 
would not have made fight against three rangers. 
Captain Baylor took Scott's saddle, gun and six- 
shooter away from him and kicked him out of 
camp, but was compelled to pay $75 for the horse 
that was killed. 

Another man, Chipman, deserted our company 
and stole a bunch of horses from some Mexicans 
down at Socorro. The Mexicans followed the trail 
out in the direction of Hueco Tanks, where it turned 
west and crossed the high range of mountains west 
of El Paso. The pursuers overtook Chipman with 
the stolen horses just on the line of New Mexico. 
The thief put up a fierce fight and killed two Mexi- 
cans, but was himself killed. Captain Baylor had 
a scout following the deserter but the Mexicans 
got to him first and had the fight before our men 
arrived. However, the ranger boys buried the body 
of Chipman where it fell. This chap had made a 
very good ranger and we all felt shocked when we 



learned he had stolen seven ponies and tried to get 
away with them single-handed. 

Yet another San Simone Valley rustler, Jack 
Bond, enlisted in the company. A band of rustlers 
and cow thieves were operating up in the Canutillo, 
eighteen miles above El Paso, about the time he 
joined the command. I did my best to break up 
this band and made scout after scout up the river, 
but without success. Finally Captain Baylor learned 
that Bond and another ranger, Len Peterson, were 
keeping the thieves posted as to the rangers 5 move- 
ments. The captain fired these two men out of the 
company and within ten days I had captured Frank 
Stevenson, the leader of the Canutillo gang, and 
broken up the nest of thieves. Stevenson was later 
sent to the penitentiary for fifteen years. Bond 
and Peterson went to El Paso, stole Mayor M. C. 
Goffin's fine pair of carriage horses and fled to New 
Mexico. Subsequently Bond was killed at Deming 
by Deputy Sheriff Dan Tucker in an attempted 

Captain Roberts, Coldwell or Lieutenant Reynolds 
would never have let such a bunch of crooks get 
into their companies, for they had to know some- 
thing about a man before they would enlist him. 
However, there was some excuse for Baylor at the 
time he was on the Rio Grande. It was a long way 



from the center of population and good men were 
hard to find. Then, too, it looked as if all the crim- 
inals in Texas had fled to New Mexico and Arizona, 
from which states they would ease back into the 
edge of Texas and join the rangers. Captain Ray- 
lor was liberal in his views of men: they all looked 
good to him until proven otherwise. If there was 
a vacancy in the company any man could get in. 
And if they lacked equipment the captain would 
buy the newcomer a horse, saddle, and arms and 
then deduct the cost thereof from the man's first 
three months' pay. However, Raylor had generally 
to pay the bill himself. The captain also liked to 
keep his company recruited to the limit and this 
made enlistment in his command easy. 

In all the years I was with Captain Raylor I never 
knew him to send a non-commissioned officer on a 
scout after Indians. He always commanded in per- 
son and always took with him every man in camp 
save one, who was left to guard it, for he liked to 
be as strong as possible on the battlefield. 

Captain Raylor never took much interest person- 
ally in following cattle thieves, horse thieves, mur- 
derers and fugitives from justice. He left that al- 
most entirely to me. Sometimes we would have 
as many as six or eight criminals chained up in 
camp at one time, but the captain would never come 



about them, for he could not bear to see anyone in 
trouble. His open, friendly personality endeared 
Baylor to the Mexicans from El Paso down the val- 
ley as far as Quitman. They were all his com- 
padres and would frequently bring him venison, 
goat meat and mutton. Always they showed him 
every courtesy in their power. 

Now, having freed the company of its undesir- 
able recruits, we were once more a homogeneous 
force ready and anxious to perform our duty in 
protecting the frontier and bringing criminals to 
justice. Almost as soon as the last undesirable 
had been fired from Company "A" we started on 
the scout that was to culminate in our last fight 
with the Apaches. 





Despite General Terrasas' great victory at Tres 
Castillos as recorded in a preceding chapter, he 
did not entirely destroy all the Apaches that had 
been with old Victorio. Nana and fifty warriors 
escaped and finally joined Geronimo in his cam- 
paign of murder and destruction. On the night 
preceding the battle in which Victorio was killed 
and his band of warriors exterminated twelve 
braves with four squaws and four children deserted 
the old chief and made their way to those rough 
mountains that fringe the Rio Grande in the vicinity 
of Eagle Springs. At once this band of twenty 
Indians began a series of pillages and murders that 
has no parallel considering the small size of the 

The little band of Apaches soon appeared at Paso 
Viego and began their depredations by an attack 
on Lieutenant Mills and his cavalry. Paso Viego 
is a gap in the mountains that parallel the Rio 
Grande from Eagle Mountains on the west to Brites' 
ranch on the east, and is situated ten or twelve 
miles west of and in plain view of the present little 



town of Valentine, Texas, on the G., H. & S. A. 
Railroad. The tribe of Pueblo Indians has lived 
at the old town of Ysleta, El Paso County, Texas, 
for more than three hundred years. They have 
always been friends to the Americans and invet- 
erate enemies to the Apaches. It was customary, 
therefore, for the United States troops at Fort Davis 
to employ the Pueblos as guides during the Indian 
disturbances along the border. In 1881 Bernado 
and Simon Olgin, two brothers, were the principal 
chiefs of this tribe. Bernado was the elder and 
looked it. Both chiefs dressed in the usual Indian 
fashion, wore moccasins, buckskin leggins and had 
their long black hair braided and hanging down 
the back. Simon was a very handsome Indian, 
and he, with four of his tribe — all nephews of his, 
I think — were employed by General Grierson during 
the troublesome times of 1880-1881. 

Simon and his four scouts had been detailed to 
make scouts down on the Rio Grande with Lieu- 
tenant Mills, commander of the Tenth United States 
Cavalry (colored). On their way out the troops 
reached Paso Viego early in the evening, and after 
they had eaten supper Simon Olgin advised the 
lieutenant to move out on the open plains three or 
four miles north of the pass where they would be 
safe from attack. Olgin declared Paso Viego was 



a favorite camping place for the Indians going to 
and returning from Mexico because of the fine 
water and good grass. He stated that should a 
band of redskins appear at the pass during the 
night and find it occupied by soldiers they would 
attack at daylight and probably kill some of the 

Lieutenant Mills, fresh from West Point, replied 
that he was not afraid of Indians and did not pro- 
pose to move. During the night the little band of 
twenty Apaches reached the pass, just as Olgin had 
prophesied, and hid themselves in the rocks. The 
next morning the soldiers had breakfast, packed 
their mules, and as they were standing by their 
horses ready for the order to mount a sudden fusil- 
lade of bullets was fired into their midst at short 
range. Other volleys came in quick succession. At 
the very first fire that grand old Indian, Simon Olgin, 
was shot down and killed, as were five or six of 
the negro cavalry. The remainder of the company 
thereupon fled, but the four Pueblo scouts, Olgin's 
nephews, took to the rocks and fought until they 
had routed the Apaches and saved the bodies of 
their old beloved uncle and the soldiers from falling 
into the hands of the attackers to be mutilated. 

Repulsed at Paso Viego the twenty Apaches next 
appeared at Bass' Canyon, a gap in the mountains 



on the overland stage road about twelve or fourteen 
miles west of Van Horn. Here the redskins way- 
laid an immigrant train on its way to New Mexico. 
At the very first fire of the Indians Mrs. Graham, 
who was walking, jumped upon the tongue of the 
wagon and reached for a Winchester, but was shot 
and killed. A man named Grant was killed at the 
same time, while Mr. Graham had his thigh broken. 
From Bass 5 Canyon the Indians turned south, 
crossed around the east end of the Eagle Mountains 
and again entered Old Mexico, where they were 
for a time lost to view. 

We next hear of this band at Ojo Calienta, some 
hot springs on the Rio Grande southwest from 
Eagle Mountains. A captain of cavalry with some 
colored troops near old Fort Quitman detailed seven 
men and instructed the sergeant in charge to scout 
down the river as far east as Bosque Bonita, keep 
a sharp lookout for Indian signs and report back 
to camp in one week. These troopers followed 
orders, and on their return journey camped for the 
night at Ojo Calienta. Next morning at break of 
day the soldiers were preparing to cook breakfast 
when the Apaches fell upon them and killed all 
save one at their first assault. This single survivor 
made his escape on foot, and after two days in the 
mountains without food finally reached the soldier 



camp and reported to his captain. The Indians 
evidently located the soldier scout the evening be- 
fore but, as they never make a night attack, waited 
until daylight to massacre their victims. The red- 
skins captured all the soldiers' equipment and bag- 
gage, including seven horses and two pack mules. 
They pillaged the camp and took everything mov- 
able away with them. Before resuming their jour- 
ney the Apaches took six stake-pins made of iron 
and about twenty inches long that were used by the 
soldiers to drive into the ground as stakes to which 
to fasten their horses and drove one through each 
soldier's corpse, pinning it firmly to the earth. The 
captured stock was killed and eaten, for the soldiers' 
animals were fat while most of the ponies and little 
mules of the Apaches were worn out by constant 
use in the mountains, and consequently very poor. 
This band was not heard of again for nearly two 
months — until the warriors set upon the stage at 
Quitman Canyon and killed the driver, Morgan, and 
the gambler, Crenshaw, a passenger. The reports 
about this stage robbery and murder were so con- 
flicting and the impression so strong that the driver 
and the passenger had themselves robbed the stage 
and made Indian signs to avert suspicion that Cap- 
tain Baylor deemed it best to go down to the canyon 
and investigate for himself. Accordingly, the cap- 



tain made a detail of fourteen privates and one cor- 
poral, and with ten days' rations on two pack mules 
left Ysleta on January 16th to ascertain if possible 
whether the stage had been robbed and the driver 
and passenger killed by Indians or by white men, 
and to punish the robbers if they could be caught. 
To keep down disorder and violence threatened at 
El Paso, the captain left me and a detail of three 
men in our camp at Ysleta. 

At Quitman, Captain Baylor learned that the 
trail of the stage robbers bore southwest to Ojo 
Calienta, and as the foothills of Quitman Mountains 
are very rough, he went down the north bank of 
the Rio Grande, as he felt quite certain he would 
cut signs in that direction. About twenty-five miles 
below Quitman he struck the trail of a freshly shod 
mule, two barefooted ponies and two unshod mules, 
and within fifty yards of the trail he found the kid 
glove thought to have been Crenshaw's. The trail 
now bore down the river and crossed into Mexico, 
where the Indian band made its first camp. Cap- 
tain Baylor followed, and the next day found the 
Apaches' second camp near the foothills of the Los 
Pinos Mountains, where we had left General Ter- 
rasas the fall before. Here all doubts about the 
Indians were dispelled, as the rangers found a horse 
killed with the meat taken as food and a pair of 



old moccasins. Besides, the camp was selected on 
a high bare hill after the custom of the Indians. 
The same day Captain Baylor found another camp 
and a dead mule, and on the trail discovered a boot- 
top recognized as that of Morgan, the driver. Here 
also was the trail of some fifteen or twenty mules 
and ponies, quite fresh, coming from the direction 
of the Candelario Mountains with one small trail 
of three mules going toward the Rio Grande. The 
rangers passed through some very rough, deep 
canyons and camped on the south side of the Rio 
Grande, this being their second night in Mexico. 

Next morning the trail crossed back into Texas. 
Going toward Major Carpenter's old camp above 
the Bosque Bonito the scouting party found a camp 
where the Indians had evidently made a cache, but 
Captain Baylor only tarried here a short time and 
followed on down the river a few miles when he 
found the Apaches had struck out on a bee line for 
the Eagle Mountains. The captain felt some hesi- 
tation about crossing the plains between the Eagle 
Mountains and the Rio Grande in the daytime for 
fear of being seen by the Indians, but as the trail 
was several days old he took the risk of being dis- 
covered. He camped within three or four miles 
of the mountains and at daybreak took the trail 
up a canyon leading into the peaks. The party 



came suddenly upon an Apache camp which had 
been hastily deserted that morning, for the Indians 
left blankets, quilts, buckskins and many other 
things useful to them. They had just killed and 
had piled up in camp two horses and a mule, the 
blood of which had been caught in tin vessels. 
One mule's tongue was stewing over a fire and 
everything indicated the redskins were on the eve 
of a jolly war dance, for the rangers found a five- 
gallon can of mescal wine and a horse skin sunk 
in the ground that contained fifteen or twenty gal- 
lons more. Here Captain Raylor found the mate 
to Morgan's boot-top and a bag made from the legs 
of the passenger's pantaloons, besides express re- 
ceipts, postal cards and other articles taken from 
the stage. The night before had been bitterly cold 
and the ground had frozen hard as flint rock, so 
the rangers could not get the trail, though they 
searched the mountains in every direction, and the 
three Pueblo Indians, Bernado Olgin, Domingo 
Olgin, and Aneseta Duran, looked over every foot 
of the ground. The scouting party now turned 
back toward Mexico to scout back on the west side 
of the Eagle Mountains around to Eagle Springs in 
search of the trail. 

At Eagle Springs, as good luck would have it, 
Captain Baylor learned that Lieutenant Nevill and 



nine men had just gone toward Quitman to look 
for him. As soon as Lieutenant Nevill returned to 
the Springs he informed Baylor that he had seen 
the trail six miles east of Eagle Springs and that 
it led toward the Carrizo Springs or Diablo Moun- 

Captain Baylor's rations were out and Lieutenant 
Nevill had only supplies enough to do the combined 
force five days, but the two commanders trusted 
either to catch the Indians or get in striking dis- 
tance of the Pecos settlements within that time. 
The Apaches made pretty good time across the 
plain in front of Eagle Springs, and did not seem 
to recover from their scare until they reached the 
Diablo Mountains. Here they killed and cooked 
meat from one horse and obtained water by melt- 
ing snow with hot rocks. 

The trail led northward by Chili Peak, a noted 
landmark to be seen from Eagle Station. Here the 
rangers quit the trail and went into the Diablo 
Mountains to camp at Apache Tanks, where Gen- 
eral Grierson cut off Victorio from the Guadalupe 
Mountains the summer before. Next morning Cap- 
tain Baylor followed the trail north and camped on 
the brow of cliffs overlooking Rattlesnake Springs. 
The sign now led to the edge of the Sierra Diablo, 
where the Indians camped and slept for the first 



time since leaving Eagle Mountains. They were 
still watchful, as they were near a most horrible 
looking canyon down which they could have dis- 
appeared had the scouting party come upon them. 
Their next camp was about ten miles farther on, 
and Captain Baylor saw they were getting more 
careless about camping. On the 28th he came 
across another horse and fire where the Apaches 
had eaten some meat. The leg of the horse was 
not yet stiff and blood dropped from one when 
picked up. The chase was getting to be exciting, 
and Captain Baylor and his men felt their chance 
to avenge the many outrages committed by this 
band was now near at hand. 

The trail led off north as though the redskins 
were going toward the Cornudos in New Mexico, 
but turned east and entered Sierra Diablo Moun- 
tains. In a narrow gorge the rangers found where 
the Indians had eaten dinner, using snow to quench 
their thirst, but their horses had no water. From 
this camp the Apaches made for the cliffs on the 
northeast side of Devil Mountains. The scouting 
party now felt the Indians were nearby, as they 
were nearly all afoot. The danger of being dis- 
covered if they passed over the hills during the day- 
light was so apparent that the rangers decided to 
make a dry camp and pass the mountain's brow 



before day the next morning. All the signs were 
good for a surprise; the trail was not over two 
hours old, and a flock of doves passing overhead 
going in the direction of the trail showed that water 
was nearby. 

The morning of the 29th of January the party 
was awakened by the guard, and passed over the 
mountain's brow before daylight. There was some 
difficulty in picking up the trail, though Captain 
Baylor, Lieutenant Nevill and the Pueblo trailers 
had been up the evening before spying out the land. 
By stooping down with their faces close to the 
ground the Pueblos got the trail leading north along 
the crest of the mountains. Soon the Indian guides 
said in low voices: "Hoy esta los Indias." And Cap- 
tain Baylor perceived the Apaches' camp fires not 
over half a mile distant. 

Leaving a guard of five men with the horses the 
rangers advanced stealthily on foot. By taking 
advantage of the crest of the mountain they crept 
within two hundred yards of the camp, supposing 
the Indians were camped on the western slope of 
the hill. The Apaches, however, were cautious 
enough to put one tepee on the eastern slope over- 
looking the valley and the approaches from that 
direction. Captain Baylor thereupon ordered Ser- 
geant Carruthers of Lieutenant Nevill's company to 



take seven men and make a detour to the left and 
attack that wigwam while Lieutenant Nevill and 
himself with seventeen men advanced on the east- 
ern camp. Sheltering themselves behind some large 
Spanish dagger plants and advancing in Indian file 
the attackers got within one hundred yards of the 
enemy, who was apparently just out of bed, for it 
was then sunrise. Halting the men deployed to the 
right and left and then, kneeling, the rangers gave 
the astonished Indians a deliberate volley. At the 
second fusillade the Apaches broke and fled, the 
rangers charging the flying foe with a Texas yell. 

Sergeant Carruthers executed his orders in gal- 
lant style. The Apaches on his side, alarmed and 
surprised by the fire of Captain Baylor's force, hud- 
dled together and three were killed within twenty 
yards of their camp fire. The redskins ran like 
deer and made no resistance, for it was each man 
for himself. Nevertheless, as they fled they were 
thickly peppered, as there were but two or three 
out of the party of sixteen or eighteen but left 
blood along their trail as they ran off. 

One Indian the rangers named Big Foot (from 
his enormous track) ran up the mountain in full 
view for four hundred yards, and not less than 
two hundred shots were fired at him, but he passed 
over the hill. Sergeant Carruthers and several men 



pursued the fugitive for a mile and a half and 
found plenty of blood all the way. Another war- 
rior was knocked down and lay as though dead 
for some time, but finally regained his feet and 
made two-forty time over the hills with a running 
accompaniment of Springfield and Winchester balls. 
One brave stood his ground manfully, principally 
because he got the gable end of his head shot off 
early in the action. 

Of course the women were the principal sufferers. 
As it was a bitterly cold, windy morning and all ran 
off with blankets about them few of the rangers 
could tell braves from squaws, and in the confusion 
of battle two women were killed and one mortally 
wounded. Two children were killed and a third 
shot through the foot. One squaw with three bul- 
lets in her hand and two children were captured. 
Seven mules and nine horses, two Winchester rifles, 
one Remington carbine, one United States cavalry 
pistol and one .40 double action Colt's, six United 
States cavalry saddles taken from the troops killed 
at Ojo Caliente and some women's and children's 
clothing, American made, — evidently those of Mrs. 
Graham, — a Mexican saddle with a bullet hole in 
it and fresh blood thereon and over a hundred and 
fifty yards of new calico fell as spoil to the victors. 
All the Indians' camp equipage was burned. 



The victorious rangers breakfasted on the battle- 
ground, as they had eaten nothing since dinner the 
day before. Some of the men found horse meat 
good, while others feasted on venison and roasted 
mescal. The band of scouts could not remain long 
at this camp for water was very scarce. They had 
forty head of stock to care for, and the Indians, 
in their flight, ran through the largest pool of water 
and liberally dyed it with their blood, and as none 
of the men were bloodthirsty enough to use this for 
making coffee or bread they were short of water. 
However, the rangers found enough pure good 
water for their use but the horses had to wait until 
the force reached Apache Tanks, thirty miles dis- 
tant. This scarcity of water made it impossible to 
remain at this Apache camp, otherwise Captain 
Baylor could have added three or four scalps to 
his trophies. The return march was begun 9 and at 
Eagle Station Lieutenant Nevill and Captain Baylor 
separated. The captured squaw and the two chil- 
dren were sent to Fort Davis to be turned over to 
the post commander for medical attention, for the 
rangers had neither a surgeon nor a hospital. 

On their return from the battle of the Diablos, 
Captain Baylor's Pueblo Indian scouts, Chief Ber- 
nado Olgin, Domingo Olgin, and Aneseta Duran, 
suddenly halted about one mile from Ysleta, un- 



saddled and unbridled their tired little ponies and 
went into camp. This was their custom after a 
successful campaign against their Apache enemies 
so that their comrades might come out and do 
honor to the returning heroes. For three days and 
nights a feast and a scalp dance was held by the 
whole of the Pueblo tribe of Ysleta. They feasted, 
wined and dined their returning warriors and in- 
vited the rangers to the festivities. The boys all 
went and reported they had a fine time generally. 
This celebration was the last scalp dance the Pueblo 
Indians ever had, for the destruction of the Apaches 
in the Diablos exterminated the wild Indians and 
there were no more of them to scalp. 



The American citizens of Socorro, New Mexico, 
during Christmas week of 1881, held a church fes- 
tival, and Mr. A. M. Conklin, editor of the "Socorro 
Sun," was conducting the exercises. Abran and 
Enofrio Baca appeared at the church under the in- 
fluence of liquor. Their talk and actions so dis- 
turbed the entertainment that Mr. Conklin went to 
them and requested them to be more quiet, at the 
same time telling the offenders they were perfectly 
welcome in the church but that they must behave. 
The brothers, highly indignant, invited Mr. Conklin 
to fight, but Mr. Conklin declined and again assured 
the two that they were welcome but must act as 
gentlemen. Abran and Enofrio at once retired 
from the church. 

After the social had ended and as Mr. Conklin 
with his wife at his side passed out of the church 
door, Abran Baca caught Mrs. Conklin by one arm 
and jerked her away from her husband. At the 
same instant Enofrio shot and killed the editor on 
the church steps. 

This foul murder created no end of indignation 
in the little town of Socorro. Scouting parties were 



sent in all directions to try and effect the capture 
of the murderers. However, the two Bacas man- 
aged to elude their pursuers and made their way 
into the Republic of Mexico. The governor of New 
Mexico at once issued a proclamation offering $500 
for their capture and the citizens of Socorro offered 
a like amount for the murderers, dead or alive. 
The proclamation, with a minute description of the 
Baca boys, was sent broadcast over the country. 
And, of course, the rangers at Ysleta received sev- 
eral of the circulars. 

In the spring of 1881 the county judge of El Paso 
County was Jose Baca, an uncle of the two mur- 
derers. He was also a merchant at Ysleta, then 
the county seat of El Paso County. Captain Bay- 
lor's company of rangers was quartered in the west 
end of Ysleta, about one-half mile from the public 
square. On receiving the New Mexico proclama- 
tion I set a watch over the home and store of Judge 
Baca and kept it up for nearly a month but with- 
out success. We finally concluded that the Baca 
boys had not come our way and almost forgot the 

However, one morning in the latter part of March, 
1881, Jim Fitch, one of our most trustworthy 
rangers, hurried back to camp from Ysleta and in- 
formed me that he had seen two well dressed Mex- 



ican boys, strangers to him, sitting on the porch 
of Judge Baca's home. I at once made a detail of 
four men. We saddled our horses, rode to town, 
rounded up the Baca home and captured two strange 
Mexicans. I believed them to be the Baca brothers, 
and left at once for New Mexico with my prisoners. 

Before we had reached El Paso on our journey 
we were overtaken by Judge Baca, who had with 
him an interpreter. He asked me to please halt 
as he wished to talk with the prisoners. After a 
short conversation with the boys the judge asked 
me what was the reward for the capture of Abran 
Baca. I replied, "Five hundred dollars." 

"If you will just let him step out in the bosque 
and get away I will give you $700," Judge Baca 
finally said with some hesitation. 

Subsequently the judge raised the bribe to one 
thousand dollars, but I informed him there was 
not enough money in El Paso County to buy me 
off, so he returned to Ysleta and I continued my 
journey to New Mexico, feeling assured I had at 
least captured one of the Conklin murderers. On 
arriving at Socorro I was at once informed that I 
had Abran all right but my second prisoner was 
Massias Baca, a cousin of the murderers, but not 
incriminated in the crime. 

I was treated royally by the citizens and officers 



of Socorro. They were delighted that one of the 
murderers had been captured and promptly counted 
out to me $250 as their part of the reward offered 
for the apprehension of one of the criminals. 
Colonel Eaton, head deputy sheriff of the county, 
issued me a receipt for the body of Abran Baca 
delivered inside the jail of Socorro County, New 
Mexico. This receipt, forwarded to the governor 
of the territory, promptly brought me a draft for 
$250 and a letter of thanks from his excellency. 

Early in April, about one month after the cap- 
ture of Abran Baca, I learned from Santiago Cooper, 
a friend that lived in Ysleta, that he had seen a 
man at Saragosa, Mexico, who, from the description, 
he believed to be Enofrio Baca. I told Cooper I 
would give him $25 if he would go back to Saragosa 
and find out to a certainty if the person he had seen 
was Enofrio Baca. A week later Cooper came to 
me and said the man at Saragosa was Baca and 
that the murderer was clerking in the one big store 
of the town. This store was a long adobe building 
situated against a hill with the front facing so that 
one riding up to the front of it would bring his 
saddle skirts almost on a level with the building 
because of the terraces in front of it made necessary 
by the slope of the hill. Enofrio was of florid com- 



plexion with dark red hair, which made it easy to 
identify him. 

I kept this information about the murderer to 
myself for nearly a week while I pondered over it. 
I was anxious to capture Baca, yet I well knew from 
previous experience that if I caused him to be ar- 
rested in Mexico the authorities there would turn 
him loose, especially when the influence of wealthy 
relatives was brought to bear. Knowing he would 
follow the law to the letter I dare not take Captain 
Baylor into my confidence. Saragosa, a little town 
of about five hundred inhabitants, is situated about 
four miles southwest of Ysleta. While it is only 
about a mile from the Rio Grande as the crow flies, 
yet, because of the many farms and big irrigation 
ditches, it was impossible to enter or leave the town 
only by following the public road between Ysleta 
and Saragosa. It has always been the delight of 
border Mexicans to get behind an adobe wall or 
on top an adobe house and shoot to ribbons any 
hated gringo that might be unfortunately caught 
on the Mexican side of the river. I knew only too 
well from my own experience that I could not go 
into Saragosa, attempt to arrest a Mexican, stay 
there five minutes and live, yet I determined to 
take the law in my own hands and make the 



I took into my confidence just one man, George 
Lloyd. If ever there was an ace in the ranger 
service he was one. I unfolded my plans to him. 
I did not have to point out the danger to him for 
he had lived on the Rio Grande ten times as long 
as I. 

"Sergeant, that is an awful dangerous and risky 
piece of business and I will have to have a little 
time in which to think it over," he said when I 
talked with him. 

The next day Lloyd came to me and said, "Ser- 
geant, I will go anywhere in the world with you." 

Though willing to accompany me I could tell he 
doubted our ability to execute the capture. 

I planned to attempt the capture of Baca the next 
morning and sent Cooper back to Saragosa to look 
over the situation there once more. He informed 
me on his return that Baca was still clerking in the 
store. I now told Lloyd to keep our horses up 
when the animals were turned out to graze next 
morning. This move caused no especial thought 
or comment, for the men frequently would keep 
their horses to ride down town. As soon as we had 
crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico I planned to 
quit the public road, travel through the bosques, 
pass around on the west side of Saragosa and ride 
quickly up to the store in which our man was work- 



ing. Lloyd was to hold the horses while I was to 
dismount, enter the store and make the arrest. 
Then, if possible, I was to mount Baca behind Lloyd 
and make a quick get-away. 

Our plans were carried out almost to the letter. 
We reached Saragosa safely, and while Lloyd held 
my horse in front of the store I entered and dis- 
covered Baca measuring some goods for an old 
Mexican woman. I stepped up to him, caught him 
in the collar, and with a drawn pistol ordered him 
to come with me. The customer promptly fainted 
and fell on the floor. Two other people ran from 
the building, screaming at the top of their voices. 
Baca hesitated about going with me, and in broken 
English asked me where he was to be taken. I in- 
formed him to Paso del Norte. I shoved my pistol 
right up against his head and ordered him to step 
lively. When we reached our horses I made Baca 
mount behind Lloyd. I then jumped into my sad- 
dle and, waving my pistol over my head, we left 
Saragosa on a dead run. Our sudden appearance 
in the town and our more sudden leaving bewildered 
the people for a few minutes. They took in the 
situation quickly, however, and began ringing the 
old church bell rapidly, and this aroused the whole 

As I left Saragosa I saw r men getting their horses 



together and knew that in a few minutes a posse 
would be following us. When we had gone two 
miles almost at top speed I saw that Lloyd's horse 
was failing, and we lost a little time changing Baca 
to my mount. We had yet two miles to go and 
through deep sand most of the way. I could see a 
cloud of dust and shortly a body of mounted men 
hove in view. It was a tense moment. Lloyd thought 
it was all off with us, but we still had a long lead 
and our horses were running easily. As our pur- 
suers made a bend in the road we discovered nine 
men in pursuit. As soon as they had drawn up 
within six hundreds yards they began firing on us. 
This was at long range and did no damage. In fact, 
I believe they were trying to frighten rather than 
to wound us as they were just as likely to hit Baca 
as either of us. We were at last at the Rio Grande, 
and while it was almost one hundred yards wide 
it was flat and shallow at the ford. I hit the water 
running and as I mounted the bank on good old 
Texan soil I felt like one who has made a home run 
in a world series baseball game. Our pursuers 
halted at the river so I pulled off my hat, waved 
to them and disappeared up the road. 

We lost no time in reaching camp, and our ap- 
pearance there with a prisoner and two run-down 
horses caused all the boys in quarters to turn out. 



Captain Baylor noticed the gathering and hurried 
over to camp. 

"Sergeant, who is this prisoner you have?" he 
asked, walking straight up to me. 

I replied it was Enofrio Baca, the man that had 
murdered Mr. Conklin. The captain looked at the 
run-down horses, wet with sweat, and asked me 
where I had captured him. 

"Down the river," I replied, trying to evade him. 

"From the looks of your horse I would think 
you had just run out of a fight. Where down the 
river did you capture this man?" 

I saw the captain was going to corner me and I 
thought I might as well "fess up." I told him I 
had arrested Baca at Saragosa and kidnaped him 
out of Mexico. Captain Baylor's eyes at once 
bulged to twice their natural size. 

"Sergeant, that is the most imprudent act you 
ever committed in your life ! Don't you know that 
it is a flagrant violation of the law and is sure to 
cause a breach of international comity that might 
cause the Governor of Texas to disband the whole 
of Company "A"? Not only this, but it was a most 
hazardous undertaking and it is a wonder to me 
that the Mexicans did not shoot you and Lloyd into 
doll rags." 



Captain Raylor was plainly out of patience with 

"Gillett, you have less sense than I thought you 
had," he declared, heatedly. "If you have any ex- 
planation to make I would like to have it." 

I reminded the captain of the tragic fate of Mor- 
gan and Brown and how the authorities at Guad- 
alupe had turned their murderers, Skevill and Mo- 
Una, loose. I declared that had I had Baca arrested 
in Mexico he would have gone scot-free with his 
rich and influential friends to help him. Baylor 
declared that two wrongs did not make one right, 
and said I should have consulted him. I finally told 
the captain frankly that I had been in the ranger 
service six years, had risen from the ranks to be 
orderly sergeant at a salary of only $50 a month. 
I pointed out that this was the highest position I 
could hope to get without a commission, and while 
one had been promised me at the first vacancy yet 
I could see no early hope of obtaining it, as every 
captain in the battalion was freezing to his job. 
This remark seemed to amuse Captain Baylor and 
somewhat eased his anger. 

I went on to say that I not only wanted the $500 
reward offered for Baca, but I wanted the notoriety 
I would get if I could kidnap the murderer out of 
Mexico without being killed in the attempt, for I 



believed the notoriety would lead to something bet- 
ter than a ranger sergeancy. And this is what 
really happened, for I subsequently became First 
Assistant Marshal of El Paso under Dallas Stoude- 
mire at a salary of $150 per month, and in less 
than a year after my arrest of Enofrio Baca I was 
made Chief of Police of that city at a salary that 
enabled me to get a nice start in the cattle business. 

"Sergeant, you can go with your man," Captain 
Baylor finally said, "but it is against my best judg- 
ment. I ought to escort him across the Rio Grande 
and set him free." 

I lost no time in sending a ranger to the stage 
office at Ysleta with instructions to buy two tickets 
to Masilla, New Mexico, and one to El Paso. The 
stage was due to pass our quarters about 12 o'clock, 
so I did not have long to wait. I took Lloyd as a 
guard as far as El Paso and there turned him back, 
making the remainder of the journey to Socorro, 
New Mexico, alone with the prisoner. I reached 
the old town of Masilla, New Mexico, at dark after 
a rather exciting day. I was afraid to put Baca in 
jail at that place, as I had no warrant nor extradi- 
tion papers upon which to hold him and feared 
the prison authorities might not redeliver Baca to 
me next morning. The stage coach from Masilla 
to Rincon did not run at night so I secured a room 



at the hotel and chaining the prisoner to me we 
slept together. 

On the following day we reached Rincon, the 
terminus of the Santa Fe Railroad at that time. I 
wired the officers of Socorro, New Mexico, from 
El Paso that I had captured Baca and was on my 
way to New Mexico with him. Baca's friends had 
also been informed of his arrest and lost no time 
in asking the Governor of New Mexico to have me 
bring the prisoner to Santa Fe as they feared mob 
violence at Socorro. When I reached San Marcial 
I was handed a telegram from the governor order- 
ing me to bring Baca to Santa Fe and on no account 
to stop with him in Socorro. 

Because of delay on the railroad I did not reach 
Socorro until late at night. The minute the train 
stopped at that town it was boarded by twenty-five 
or thirty armed men headed by Deputy Sheriff 
Eaton. I showed Eaton the governor's telegram, 
but he declared Baca was wanted at Socorro and 
that was where he was going. I remonstrated with 
him and declared I was going on to Santa Fe with 
the prisoner. By this time a dozen armed men 
had gathered around me and declared, "Not much 
will you take him to Santa Fe." I was furious, but 
I was practically under arrest and powerless to help 
myself, Baca and I were transferred from the 



train to a big bus that was in waiting. The jailer 
entered first, then Baca was seated next to him and 
I sat next the door with my Winchester in my hand. 
The driver was ordered to drive to the jail. 

It was a bright moonlight night and we had not 
traveled far up the street before I looked out and 
saw at least a hundred armed men. They came 
from every direction. Boys, did you ever encoun- 
ter a mob? I assure you it is far from a pleasant 
feeling when you face one. The men swarmed 
around the bus, three or four of them grabbed the 
horses by the bridle reins and held them, while 
others tried to force the bus doors. I asked the 
jailer if I could depend on him to help me stand 
the mob off, but he replied it would do no good. I 
was now madder than ever, and for the first time 
in my life I ripped out an oath, saying, "G — d — n 
them, I am going to stand them off!" 

As the doors were forced I poked my Winchester 
out and ordered the mob to stand back or I would 
shoot. The men paid no more attention to my gun 
than if it had been a brown stick. A man standing 
beside the bus door seized the muzzle of my rifle 
and, with a quick jerk to one side, caused it to fly 
out of my hand and out upon the ground. 

By this time another of the mob grabbed me in 
the collar and proceeded to pull me out of the bus. 



I spread my legs and tried to brace myself, but 
another hard and quick jerk landed me out on the 
ground, where one of the men kicked me. I was 
tame now and made no effort to draw my pistol. 
One of the crowd said to me, "What in h — do you 
mean? We do not wish to hurt you but we are 
going to hang that d — n Mexican right now!" 

I then informed the mob of the nature of Baca's 
arrest and told them that the hanging of the pris- 
oner would place me in an awkward position. 
Then, too, the reward offered by the territory of 
New Mexico was for the delivery of the murderer 
inside the jail doors of Socorro County. The lead- 
ers of the crowd consulted for a few minutes and 
then concluded I was right. They ordered me back 
into the bus, gave me my Winchester and we all 
started for the jail. As soon as Baca had been 
placed in prison Deputy Sheriff Eaton sat down and 
wrote me a receipt for the delivery of Baca inside 
the jail doors. 

By this time day was just beginning to break and 
I tried to stay the hanging by making another talk. 
The mob interpreted my motive and invited me to 
step down a block to their community room where 
they would talk with me. I started with them and 
we had gone only a hundred yards before the whole 
mob broke back to the jail. I started to go with 



them but two men held me, saying, "It's no use; 
they are going to hang him." 

The men took Baca to a nearby corral and hanged 
him to a big beam of the gate. The next morning 
Baca's relatives came to me at the hotel with hats 
in their hands and asked me for the keys with 
which to remove the shackles from the dead man's 
legs. As I handed them the keys I felt both mor- 
tified and ashamed. A committee of citizens at 
Socorro waited on me just before I took the train 
for home, counted out to me $250 as their part of 
the reward and thanked me for capturing the two 
murderers. The committee assured me that it 
stood ready to help me financially or otherwise 
should I get involved with the Federal Government 
over the capture and kidnapping of Enofrio Baca. 

I presume the relatives of young Baca reported 
his kidnapping to our government, for a few weeks 
after his capture Mr. Blaine, Secretary of State, 
wrote a long letter to Governor Roberts regarding 
a breach of international comity. Governor Roberts 
wrote Captain Baylor for a full explanation of the 
matter. Captain Baylor, while never countenancing 
a wrongdoing in his company, would stand by his 
men to the last ditch when they were once in 
trouble. He was a fluent writer and no man in 
Texas understood better than he the many foul and 
outrageous murders that had been committed along 



the Rio Grande, the perpetrators of which had 
evaded punishment and arrest by crossing over into 
Mexico. Raylor wrote so well and so to the point 
that nothing further was said about the matter. 
Only an order came to Captain Baylor admonish- 
ing him never again to allow his men to follow 
fugitives into Mexico. 

Soon afterward the Safety Committee of Socorro, 
New Mexico, wrote to Captain Baylor saying, "We 
are informed by a reliable party that Jose Baca of 
Ysleta, Texas, has hired a Mexican to kill Sergeant 
Gillett. Steps have been taken to prevent this. 
However, he would do well to be on the lookout." 
Baylor at once went to Judge Baca with this letter, 
but the jurist denied in the most emphatic terms 
any knowledge of the reported plot. Also, there 
was a report current in both Ysleta and El Paso 
that a reward of $1500 had been offered for the 
delivery of Sergeant Gillett's body to the Mexican 
authorities at El Paso del Norte. Upon investiga- 
tion I found that no such offer had ever been made, 
but for safety's sake I kept out of Mexico for sev- 
eral years. 

The kidnapping of Baca aroused much comment 
and gave me a deal of notoriety and, as I had antici- 
pated, it was not long in bearing the fruit I de- 
sired, — promotion into larger and more remuner- 
ative fields of work. 



During the summer of 1881 Captain Baylor's 
company made several scouts out to the Sacra- 
mento and Guadalupe Mountains. These were re- 
ported to the Adjutant-General as scouts after In- 
dians, but there were no more redskins in Texas, 
for the rangers had done their work effectively. 
These expeditions were, therefore, more in the na- 
ture of outings for the boys. And it was quite a 
pleasure to get away from camp in the hot Rio 
Grande Valley and scout in those high mountains 
covered with tall pine timber that teemed with 
game such as deer, bear and wild turkey. The 
plains between the Guadalupe Mountains and Ysleta 
contained hundreds of antelope, thus affording the 
rangers the best of sport. 

Turning over the pages of my old scrap book I 
find this little announcement taken from the El Paso 
Times: "Colonel Baylor and twenty of his rangers 
have just returned from a scout in the Guadalupe 
Mountains, in which they killed twenty-five turkeys, 
fifteen deer and two antelope." 

On one of these hunting expeditions we had with 
us George Lloyd, who had been a ranger under 



Lieutenant Tays when his company was first mus- 
tered into service in El Paso County. We camped 
at Los Cornuvas, and here Lloyd had had an en- 
gagement with Indians. He went over the ground 
and gave us an interesting account of his fight. He 
said there were but twelve men in the scout, includ- 
ing Lieutenant Tays. In marching from Crow 
Springs to Los Cornuvas, a distance of thirty miles, 
six of the rangers were riding nearly a mile ahead 
of the others and on approaching Los Cornuvas 
made for some tinajas (water holes) up in those 
mountains. They rode around a point of rocks and 
met face to face some ten or twelve Indians coming 
out from the water. Indians and rangers were 
within forty feet before they discovered each other's 
presence and paleface and redskin literally fell off 
their horses, — the Indians seeking cover in the rocks 
above the trail while five of the rangers turned a 
somersault into a friendly arroyo. 

A ranger said to be a Russian nobleman and 
nihilist was killed early in the fight and buried on 
the spot where he fell. A headboard was placed 
to mark the grave, but the Indians soon defaced it 
by hacking at it with their knives whenever they 
passed the spot. Though he could have had splen- 
did cover, the Russian stood upright according to 



the etiquette prevailing among British officers in 
the Transvaal and was shot through the brain. 

In dismounting, Lloyd held on to the end of a 
thirty-foot stake rope that was tied around his 
horse's neck. Four of the dismounted scout wrig- 
gled their way down the creek and got away. In 
reloading his Winchester after shooting it empty 
Lloyd unfortunately slipped a .45 Colt's pistol cart- 
ridge into the magazine of his .44 Winchester and 
in attempting to throw a cartridge into his gun it 
jammed — catching him in a serious predicament. 
However, taking his knife from his pocket this fear- 
less ranger coolly removed the screw that held the 
side plates of his Winchester together, took off the 
plates, removed the offending cartridge, replaced 
the plates, tightened up the screw, reloaded his gun 
and began firing. It takes a man with iron nerve 
to do a thing like that, and you meet such a one 
but once in a lifetime. Is it any wonder, then, that 
when I cast around for a man to go into Mexico 
with me to kidnap Baca I selected Lloyd out of the 
twenty men in camp ? 

Seeing that the Bussian was dead and his com- 
panions gone, Lloyd crawled back down the arroyo, 
pulling his horse along the bank above until he was 
out of danger. The five rangers' horses, knowing 
where the water was, went right up into the rocks, 



where they were captured, saddles, bridles and all, 
by the Indians. 

The redskins, as soon as Lloyd was gone, came 
out of hiding, took the Russian's Winchester and 
pistol and left. Lloyd was the only man of the six 
to save his horse, for the Indians, with their needle 
guns high up in the rocks, held Lieutenant Tays 
and the remainder of his force at bay. 

In the latter part of the summer of 1881 Captain 
Baylor moved his company of rangers from Ysleta 
to a site three miles below El Paso. While camped 
there the captain was warned by the sheriff of 
Tombstone, Arizona, to be on the lookout for four 
San Simone Valley rustlers, supposed to be a part 
of Curley Bill's gang. The robbers' names were 
given as Charley and Frank Baker, Billie Morgan 
and a fourth person supposed to be Curley Bill 
himself. These outlaws had stolen sixteen big work 
mules and four horses at a wood camp some twelve 
miles from Tombstone. They had also robbed a 
store and, assaulting the proprietor with pistols, 
left him for dead. A $500 reward was offered for 
the capture of the desperadoes and the stolen stock. 
The robbers' trail led down into New Mexico and 
it was believed Curley Bill and his gang were headed 
for western Texas, where they would try to dis- 



pose of their stolen stock at some of the railroad 
grading camps near El Paso. 

Captain Baylor at once ordered me to take seven 
men and five days' rations and scout up the Rio 
Grande to the line of New Mexico for the bandits' 
trail, and, if I found it, to follow it up. I worked 
up the river but found no trail. Neither could I 
learn anything about any strange men driving stock 
through the country. My time was nearly up and 
I concluded to return to camp through a gap in 
the Franklin Mountains, some thirty or forty miles 
north of El Paso. We left the Rio Grande late in 
the evening, passed out through the gap and made 
a dry camp on the plains east of the mountains. 

Early the following morning we rode to a water- 
ing place known as Monday's Springs and stopped 
for breakfast. Here the boys discovered some horse 
and mule tracks. At first we thought nothing of 
this, supposing the trail had been made by some 
loose stock grazing near the water. From Mon- 
day's Springs a dim road led along the east side of 
the mountains to El Paso and we took this route 
home. Before we had traveled very far we noticed 
that some of the stock was traveling the same road, 
though even then I never suspected that these tracks 
might be the trail of the bandits for whom we were 
scouting. Finally we came to footprints made by 



some men as they adjusted their saddles or tight^ 
ened their packs. It here dawned upon me that the 
tracks might have been made by the parties we 

I thereupon followed the trail carefully and it 
led me through what is today the most beautiful 
residential portion of the city of El Paso. The 
tracks led to a big camp yard where now stands 
the $500,000 Federal building and postoffice. In 
the description of the stolen stock we were told 
one of the mules carried a small Swiss stock bell. 
As I neared the wagon yard I heard the tinkle of 
this bell and felt sure we had tracked our quarry. 
We dismounted, and with our Winchesters cocked 
and ready for action, our little party of rangers 
slipped quickly inside the large corral gate and 
within ten feet of it we came upon three heavily 
armed men bending over a fire cooking their break- 
fast. Their guns were leaning against the adobe 
fence near at hand, so the surprise was complete. 

The outlaws rose to their feet and attempted to 
get their guns, but my men held their cocked Win- 
chesters at their breasts. I told our captives that 
we were rangers ordered to arrest them and de- 
manded their surrender. The robbers were un- 
decided what to do; they were afraid to pull their 
pistols or seize their guns, yet they refused to hold 



up their hands. Finally one of the Baker brothers 
turned slightly toward me and said they would 
rather be shot down and killed than give up — sur- 
render meant death anyway. I thereupon answered 
that we had no desire to hurt them, but declared 
that the least attempt to pull a gun would mean 
instant death to them all, and again ordered them 
to raise their hands. They slowly obeyed. I stepped 
up to them, unbuckled their belts and took their 

In looking over their camp I found four saddles 
and Winchesters but I had captured only three men. 
I mentioned this fact to the prisoners and they 
laughingly said one of their number had stepped 
down town to get a package of coffee, had probably 
noticed our presence and lit out. The two Baker 
boys and Billie Morgan were the men captured, and 
I asked if the missing man was Curley Bill himself. 
They replied it was not, but refused to tell who the 
fourth member of their party was. As we had no 
description of him and he was on foot in a town 
full of armed men we had no means of identifying 
him and he was never captured. 

From the captured robbers we learned that they 
had run out of provisions, and for this reason they 
had not camped at Monday Springs. They had 
risen early and come into El Paso for breakfast. 



They declared it was a good thing for us that they 
had built their camp fire so near the gate, for had 
they been thirty feet from it they would have put 
up a fight we should have remembered for a long 
time. I replied that the eight of us could have held 
our own no matter where they had camped. 

These robbers were held in our camp some ten 
days or more until the proper extradition papers 
could be had from the State Capitol at Austin, as 
they refused to be taken back to Arizona without 
the proper authority. They owned horses, which 
they gave to some lawyers in El Paso to prevent 
their being taken back to the scene of their crimes. 
We secured all the stolen stock — sixteen mules and 
four horses. The owners came and claimed them 
and paid the rangers $200 and the Arizona sheriff 
paid a like amount for the capture of the rustlers. 

Our rangers became well acquainted with these 
thieves while we held them in our camp. The rob- 
bers admitted they were going under assumed 
names and said they were Texans but refused to 
say from what part of the state they came. The 
three of them were taken back to Arizona, tried 
for assault to kill and the theft of the horses at 
Tombstone and sent to the prison at Yuma for 
twenty-five years. They frequently wrote to our 
boys from there and seemed to hold no grudge 



against us for capturing them. The scout to cap- 
ture these men was the last one of importance I 
took part in, for my work with the rangers was 
now growing toward its close. 

In the fall of 1881 Captain Baylor received word 
from Israel King of Cambray, New Mexico, that a 
band of thieves had stolen a bunch of cattle from 
him and at last reports were headed toward El Paso 
with them. With a detail of four men I was or- 
dered to make a scout up the river and into the 
Canutillos to intercept the rustlers. After traveling 
some ten miles up the Rio Grande we crossed the 
river into New Mexico to get on more even ground. 
Some eighteen miles above El Paso we found the 
trail of the stolen stock and followed it back across 
the Rio Grande into Texas. 

While working our way along the trail through 
almost impassable brush we entered a small glade 
and came upon the stolen stock quietly grazing. 
On the opposite side of them a Mexican with a Win- 
chester stood guard while his horse grazed nearby. 
The guard fired on us as he ran to his horse and 
we were compelled to run around the cattle to get 
to the thief. We fired our guns as we ran and this 
sudden noise frightened the loose pony so the fugi- 
tive was unable to mount. He was then forced to 
dive into the brush on foot. Knowing we could 



make no headway through the heavy tornilla bosque 
we dismounted and charged it on foot. The fleeing 
Mexican undertook to run through a muddy slough 
formed by back water from the Rio Grande. Here 
he bogged but, extracting himself, he backed out 
the way he had entered and found safety in the 
friendly brush. In running to where he was last 
seen we found his gun abandoned in the mud. 
Some twenty or thirty shots were fired at him and 
while none found the mark we captured his Win- 
chester, his pony and thirty-six head of stolen cattle 
and gave him a scare that he will remember so long 
as he lives. The cattle were returned to Mr. King, 
who kindly presented us with $200 for their re- 

We learned later that Frank Stevenson, a notori- 
ous rustler, whose rendezvous was in this Canutillo 
brush, had stolen these cattle and had left the Mex- 
ican in charge of them while he had gone into 
El Paso to effect their sale. As described in a pre- 
vious chapter, I finally captured Stevenson and he 
was sent to the penitentiary for fifteen years for 
horse stealing. His capture and imprisonment 
broke up the Canutillo gang, and today, forty 
years after his arrest, the upper Rio Grande 
Valley is almost an Eden on earth with its 
fine apple and peach orchards, its alfalfa fields, big 



dairy herds and elegant homes. It is one of the 
beauty spots adjacent to the now fine city of El Paso. 
The Santa Fe Railroad traverses this valley, and 
I sometimes travel over it. As I sit in an easy seat 
in the Pullman and look out over the country I 
always reflect on the past and wonder how many 
of its present inhabitants know what a wilderness 
and what a rendezvous it once was for all kinds of 
cutthroats, cattle thieves and murderers. 

While the rangers were camped near El Paso dur- 
ing the fall of 1881 I met Captain Thatcher, then 
division superintendent of the Santa Fe Railroad. 
He told me, because of the stage and train robberies 
in New Mexico and Arizona, the railroad and the 
Wells-Fargo Express companies feared that their 
trains would be held up near El Paso. To protect 
themselves they had, therefore, decided to place 
armed guards of three men on the main line of the 
Santa Fe to run between Deming and Las Vegas, 
New Mexico, and a similar guard on the branch 
from El Paso, Texas, to Rincon, New Mexico. Cap- 
tain Thatcher had known me as a ranger and my 
kidnapping of Enofrio Baca out of Mexico had won 
me no little notoriety, so he now offered me a posi- 
tion with the railroad company as captain of the 
guard at a salary of $150 per month. I would be 



allowed to select my own men for guards and would 
be responsible for their acts. 

I requested time to consider the proposition. 
While the position as captain of the railroad guard 
might not be permanent — might not hold out more 
than six months — yet the salary attached was 
exactly three times what I received from the State 
of Texas as sergeant of rangers. I discussed 
Thatcher's offer with Captain Baylor and finally 
prevailed upon him to give me my discharge. And 
on the 26th of December, 1881, after serving the 
State of Texas as a ranger for six years and seven 
months I laid down my Winchester with the sat- 
isfied consciousness that I had done my duty ever. 
My term of service embraced one of the happiest 
portions of my life, and recollections of my ranger 
days are among my most cherished memories. 
Among my dearest possessions, though preserved 
in an old scrapbook, is my discharge. It reads 


This is to certify that James B. Gillett, 1st Ser- 
geant of Captain Geo. W. Baylor's Company "A" 
of the Frontier Battalion of the State of Texas, is 
hereby honorably discharged from the service of 
the state by reason of his own request. I take great 



pleasure in testifying to his uniform good conduct 
and gallant service in my company. 

Given at El Paso, Texas, this, the 26th day of 
December, 1881. 


Commanding Company. 

The personnel of Captain Baylor's company 
changed rapidly, so that at the time of my discharge 
there was scarcely a man in the company that had 
served longer than six months. There was, there- 
fore, no wrenching or straining of strong friend- 
ship ties when I left the command, save only for 
my leaving of Captain Baylor. To part from him 
did, indeed, make me feel sad. My farewell and 
departure was simple and unimpressive. I sat 
down with my comrades for a last ranger dinner of 
beans, bacon, bread and black coffee. After the 
meal I arose from the table, shook hands with 
Captain Baylor and the boys, mounted my horse 
and rode away from the ranger camp forever. Yet, 
though my term of actual service was over and 
though I had garnered a host of memories and ex- 
periences, I had not quite finished with the rangers 
— I had not gathered all the fruits of my ranger- 
ship,— an appointment to the police force of El Paso 
in the vicinity of which city I had so often scouted. 




Early in the spring of 1881 the old town of El 
Paso awoke out of her Rip Van Winkle sleep to 
find that four grand trunk railroad lines, — the Santa 
Fe, Southern Pacific, G., H. & S. A., and the Texas 
& Pacific — were rapidly building toward her and 
were certain to enter the town by the end of the 
year. Situated as it was, many hundreds of miles 
from any other town, it was a foregone conclusion 
that El Paso had the making of a great city and 
was a fine field for investment. Bankers, mer- 
chants, capitalists, real estate dealers, cattlemen, 
miners, railroad men, gamblers, saloon-keepers and 
sporting people of both sexes flocked to the town. 
They came in buggies, hacks, wagons, horseback 
and even afoot. There was not half enough hotel 
accommodations to go around, so people just slept 
and ate at any old place. El Paso Street, the only 
business thoroughfare at that time, was flooded 
with crowds. 

At night there was not enough room for people 
to walk on the sidewalks and they filled the streets. 
To me it looked just a miniature midway at a 
world's fair. A saloon was opened on almost every 




corner of the town with many in between. Each 
drinking place had a gambling house attached 
where the crowds played faro bank, monte, roulette, 
ehuck-a-luck, stud poker and every gambling game 
on the calendar. If one wished a seat at the gam- 
ing tables he had to come early or he could not get 
within thirty feet of them. Two variety theaters, 
the Coliseum, operated by the Manning Brothers, — 
the largest in the southwest — and Jack Doyle's, were 
quickly opened. 

An election was called in El Paso and the city 
was duly incorporated and a mayor and board of 
aldermen installed. George Campbell was elected 
city marshal and given one assistant, Bill Johnson. 
The new marshal had come to El Paso from Young 
County, Texas, where he had been a deputy sheriff. 
Campbell had done some good detective work and 
was a fairly good and efficient officer, but his as- 
sistant was much below ordinary. 

The city marshal soon found that with but one 
man to aid him he had the biggest kind of a job 
on his hands with something doing every hour in 
the twenty-four, Campbell decided he was not get- 
ting enough pay for the work he had to do and 
asked the City Council for a raise in his salary, but 
the council refused it. The marshal at once re- 
signed and left Bill Johnson to hold the town. 



Campbell was very friendly with the sporting ele- 
ment in El Paso, especially with the Manning 
Brothers, who were running two saloons and a big 
variety theater. Campbell and his friends decided 
to use strategy to force the council to increase his 
salary and planned to shoot up the town, thinking 
this would cause the city fathers to reinstate Camp- 
bell in his old position with a substantial increase 
in pay. At 2 o'clock one morning the town was 
shot up, some three or four hundred shots being 
fired promiscuously and with no attempt to make 

The following morning Mayor McGoffin sent a 
hurry call to Captain Baylor at Ysleta and asked 
that a detachment of Texas Rangers be sent to El 
Paso to help police the town. At that time I had 
not severed my connection with the rangers, so I 
was ordered to make a detail of five rangers, issue 
them fifteen days' rations and have them report at 
once to the mayor of El Paso. 

The peace loving citizens of the town welcomed 
the rangers, secured nice quarters for them and fur- 
nished the detachment with a stove on which to 
cook its meals. The rangers had been in El Paso 
ou police duty about a week when there appeared 
in the town from New Mexico the famous Dallas 
Stoudenmire. The newcomer was six feet two 



inches in height, a blonde and weighed one hundred 
and eighty-five pounds. Stoudenmire had a com- 
pelling personality and had been a Confederate 
soldier, having served with General Joe Johnston at 
Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Stoudenmire ap- 
plied to the mayor and City Council for the position 
of city marshal. He presented good references and 
was duly appointed town marshal. 

George Campbell now saw his chances for re- 
instatement as an officer in El Paso go glimmering. 
Marshal Stoudenmire called on Rill Johnson for the 
keys of the city jail, but the latter refused to sur- 
render them. Thereupon Stoudenmire seized the 
recalcitrant assistant, shook him up and took the 
keys from his pocket, thereby making his first 
enemy in El Paso. 

About ten days after the new marshal had been 
installed it was reported in El Paso that two Mexi- 
can boys had been found murdered some ten or 
twelve miles from town on the Rio Grande. The 
rangers stationed in the city went out to the ranch 
to investigate. The bodies were brought to El Paso 
and a coroner's inquest was held in a room front- 
ing on El Paso Street. Johnnie Hale, manager of 
Manning's little ranch, was summoned to appear 
before the coroner, and it was believed by the 



rangers that Hale and an ex-ranger named Len 
Peterson had committed the double murder. 

The inquest, being held in such a public place, 
attracted a crowd of onlookers. Besides the ran- 
gers, Marshal Stoudenmire, ex-Marshal Campbell, 
and Bill Johnson were present. A man named Gus 
Krempkau acted as interpreter. The trial dragged 
along until the noon hour and the proceedings were 
adjourned for dinner. The rangers went at once 
to their quarters to prepare their meal, though 
there was still a crowd standing about the scene 
of the inquest. Krempkau came out of the room 
and was accosted by John Hale, who had become 
offended at the way the interpreter had interpreted 
the evidence. After a few hot words Hale quickly 
pulled his pistol and shot Krempkau through the 
head, killing him instantly. Marshal Stoudenmire 
ran up, shot at Hale but missing him killed a Mexi- 
can bystander. At the second shot from the mar- 
shal's pistol John Hale fell dead. George Campbell 
had pulled his pistol and was backing off across 
the street when Stoudenmire suddenly turned and 
shot him down. Four men were thus killed almost 
within the twinkling of an eye. 

Stoudenmire was held blameless by the better 
class of citizens for the part he had played, but a 
certain sporting element — mostly friends of Camp- 



bell — was highly indignant at Marshal Stoudenmire 
for killing Campbell, and declared the latter had 
been murdered. The Manning Brothers were espe- 
cially bitter against the marshal, as he had killed 
their ranch foreman, Hale, and their friend, Camp- 
bell. This feeling against Marshal Stoudenmire 
never subsided, and just a little more than one year 
after, Dallas Stoudenmire was shot and killed in 
a street fight by Jim and Dr. Manning within fifty 
feet of the spot where Stoudenmire himself had 
killed the three men the year before. 

The friends of George Campbell now sought to 
take the lif e of Marshal Stoudenmire, and they used 
as their instrument Bill Johnson, a man almost 
simple mentally. The plotters furnished Johnson 
with plenty of free whisky and when they had made 
him drunk they told him Stoudenmire had no right 
to catch him in the collar and shake him as if he 
were a cur dog. Johnson finally agreed to kill the 
marshal. Armed with a double-barreled shotgun 
the tool of the plotters took up a position one night 
behind a pile of bricks in San Antonio Street where 
it enters El Paso and lay in wait for his intended 

Marshal Stoudenmire was then down at Neal 
Nuland's Acme saloon, and it was well known he 
would soon make his round up the street. Shortly 



afterward he was seen coming, and when he had 
approached within twenty-five feet of the brick pile 
Bill Johnson rose to his feet and fired both barrels 
of his shotgun. Unsteady with drink, Johnson's 
fire went over the marshal's head and left him un- 
harmed. The marshal pulled his pistol and with 
lightning rapidity filled Johnson's body full of holes. 
At the same moment Campbell's friends, posted on 
the opposite side of the street, opened fire on Stou- 
denmire and slightly wounded him in one foot, but 
the marshal charged his attackers and single-handed 
put them to flight. 

From this day Marshal Stoudenmire had the 
roughs of El Paso eating out of his hand. There 
was no longer any necessity for the rangers to help 
him police the town and they were withdrawn. 
Stoudenmire's presence on the streets was a guar- 
antee of order and good government. He was a 
good man for the class of people he had to deal 
with, yet he knew there were those in El Paso that 
were his bitter enemies and always on the alert for 
a chance to take his fife. This caused him to drink, 
and when under the influence of liquor he became 
mean and overbearing to some of his most ardent 
supporters, so much so that by the spring of 1882 
he was asked to resign. In a dramatic and fiery 
speech Stoudenmire presented his resignation and 



declared he had not been treated fairly by the City 
Council and that he could straddle them all. 

Immediately on leaving the rangers, as narrated 
at the close of the preceding chapter, I accepted a 
position of captain of guards on the Santa Fe Rail- 
road under my friend, Captain Thatcher. I did not 
long remain in the railroad's employ, and after a 
few months I resigned my position there to become 
assistant city marshal under Mr. Stoudenmire. 

Upon the resignation of Mr. Stoudenmire I was 
appointed city marshal of El Paso. Upon my ap- 
pointment the ex-marshal walked over, took me by 
the hand and said, "Young man, I congratulate you 
on being elected city marshal and at the same time 
I wish to warn you that you have more than a man's 
size job on your hands." 

Stoudenmire at once secured the appointment as 
United States deputy marshal of the Western Dis- 
trict of Texas with headquarters at El Paso. Stou- 
denmire always treated me with the greatest consid- 
eration and courtesy and gave me trouble on only 
one occasion. I reproduce here a clipping from an 
El Paso paper of the time: 

"Last Thursday night a shooting scrape in which 
ex-Marshal Stoudenmire and ex-Deputy Page played 
the leading parts occurred at the Acme saloon. It 
seems that early in the evening Page had a mis- 



understanding with Billy Bell. Stoudenmire acted 
as peacemaker in the matter. In doing so he car- 
ried Page to Doyle's concert hall, where the two 
remained an hour or so and got more or less in- 
toxicated. About midnight they returned to the 
Acme and soon got into a quarrel. Stoudenmire 
drew his pistol and fired at Page; the latter, how- 
ever, knocked the weapon upward and the ball went 
into the ceiling. Page then wrenched the pistol 
from Stoudenmire and the latter drew a second pis- 
tol and the two combatants were about to perforate 
each other when Marshal Gillett appeared on the 
premises with a double-barrel shotgun and corralled 
both of them. They were taken before court the 
following morning and fined $25 each and Stouden- 
mire was placed under bond in the sum of $250 to 
keep the peace." 

My election to the marshalship of El Paso I at- 
tribute solely to my training as a ranger and to the 
notoriety my kidnapping of Baca out of Mexico had 
given me, so that the marshalship of the town was 
one of the direct fruits of my ranger service. 

I was an officer of El Paso for several years. Not 
very long after my acceptance of the marshalship 
Captain C. L. Nevill, with whom I had served in 
Lieutenant Reynolds' company, resigned his ranger 
command and became sheriff and tax collector of 



Presidio County, Texas. The Marfa country was 
now seen to be a very promising cattle section, so 
Captain Nevill and myself formed a partnership 
and embarked in the cattle business. This did not 
in the least interfere with our duties as sheriff and 
marshal, respectively, and we soon built up a nice 
little herd of cattle. 

In the spring of 1885 General Gano and sons of 
Dallas, Texas, formed a company known as the 
Estado Land and Cattle Company. The new con- 
cern arranged to open a big ranch in Brewster 
County and General Gano wrote to Captain Nevill, 
asking him please to secure a good cattleman as 
ranch manager for the new company. Nevill at 
once wrote me and advised me to accept this posi- 
tion. In his letter he jokingly remarked: 

"Jim, you have had a quart cup of bullets shot 
at you while a ranger and marshal, and now that 
you have a chance to quit and get something less 
hazardous I advise you to do it. Besides you will 
be near our own little ranch and can see your own 
cattle from time to time." 

I considered the proposition seriously, and on the 
1st day of April, 1885, I resigned from the police 
force of El Paso and became a cowboy again. In 
accepting the marshalship I reaped the fruits of my 
ranger service and now, in resigning from that 



position I completely severed all my connection 
with the ranger force and all that it had brought 
me. Henceforth my ranger days and ranger service 
were to be but a memory, albeit the most happy 
and cherished one of my life. 

I was manager of the Estado Land and Cattle 
Company's ranch for nearly six years and during 
that period the herd increased from six to thirty 
thousand head. When I resigned the ranch man- 
agership it was that I might attend to my own ranch 
interests, which had also grown in that period. 
Though today I own a large and prosperous ranch in 
the Marfa country and though my business interests 
are many and varied, I still cherish the memory of 
my ranger days and am never too busy to see an 
old ranger comrade and re-live with him those six 
adventurous, happy and thrilling years I was a 
member of the Frontier Battalion of the Texas 



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